Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review August 14, 2007 / 30 Menachem-Av, 5767

Tragic implications

By Thomas Sowell


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Two recent tragedies — in Minnesota and in Utah — have held the nation's attention. The implications of these tragedies also deserve attention.


Those politicians who are always itching to raise tax rates have seized upon the neglected infrastructure of the country as another reason to do what they are always trying to do.


Those who live by talking points now have a great one: "How can we fight an expensive war and repair our neglected infrastructure without raising taxes?"


Plausible as this might sound, tax rates are not tax revenues. The two things have moved in opposite directions too many times, over too many years, for us to take these clever talking points at face value.


This administration is not the first one in which a reduction in tax rates has been followed by an increase in tax revenues. The same thing happened during the Reagan administration, the Kennedy administration and the Coolidge administration.


Tax rates and tax revenues have moved in opposite directions many times, not only at the federal level, but also at state and local levels, as well as in foreign countries.


How many times does it have to happen before people stop equating tax rates with tax revenues? Do the tax-and-spend politicians and their media supporters not know any better — or are they counting on the rest of us not knowing any better?


Even if we were to assume that higher tax rates will automatically result in significantly higher tax revenues, the case for throwing more money at infrastructure would still be weak.


Some of the money already appropriated for maintaining and repairing infrastructure is being diverted into other pet projects of politicians.


Money supposedly set aside for repairing potholes and maintaining bridges is diverted to the building of bicycle paths or subsidizing ferries or buses. These other things have more of a political pay-off.


Not only are there well-publicized ribbon-cutting ceremonies for building something new, many of these new things can be named for the politicians who had them built. Thus there are all sorts of government structures named for Senator Ted Stevens in Alaska and for Senator Robert Byrd in West Virginia.


But nobody names pothole repairs for anybody or puts any politician's name on the rivets used to repair an existing bridge.


Moreover, nobody blames a politician when a bridge collapses years after he put his name on some government building with money that could have been used to make bridges safer longer.


If the collapse occurs on somebody else's watch, it will be somebody else's political problem.


More tax revenue would just allow these same political games to be played with more money. More might be accomplished by forbidding any government facility from being named for anyone who is not already dead.


Maybe then we might get more potholes filled and more rusty rivets replaced on bridges.


The other recent tragedy that has held the nation's painful attention — the mine cave-in in Utah — also has implications that few seem to notice.


We could have far fewer men going down into those mines in the first place if we could use other readily available and economically viable substitutes for coal, such as nuclear power or more of our own oil.


Here too, politics is the problem. The only "alternative energy sources" that are on the political agenda are those few very expensive options that environmentalist zealots approve.


Nuclear power is not on the green zealots' approved list, even though nuclear power is widely used in other countries.


Some say nuclear power is not safe. But nothing is categorically "safe." The only serious question is how its safety compares to that of alternative ways of generating energy.


Ask the families of the trapped miners if they think mining is safe. Ask them if they would rather face the grim reality of a death in their family or the hypothetical possibility of inconveniencing some caribou in Alaska.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

Up

Thomas Sowell Archives



© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles