2 + 2 = 5

2 + 2 = 5

Anyone who knows me knows I’m an idiot.  There (whew) it’s been said.  There is no mystery.  It is what it is.  BUT (and that is a big “but”) if here is one thing I do well, I’m a master of dumbing things down. Despite my obvious “dumbassery” I have been reading Paul Krugman a lot the last few months (I recently wrote a little bit about him) and I’m amazed that someone so smoort can be so…off.  He, and his type of cronies, have been going to great lengths to cite data that “proves” America has had times of great economic growth during times of high taxation.  And if you look at what they say it’s true.  Let me give you an example (this is me dumbing it down).  Let’s say I made out with this girl in High School, several years later she announces she is a lesbian.  Based on the data presented you could conclude making out with Danny will drive a woman to lesbianism (or a more politically correct term “a vagetarian”).  That’s what Krugman does every time.  He offers two separate data points and allows the ignorant and gullible to draw an incorrect conclusion.  Was there stronger economic growth under Clinton than under the first George Bush?  Yes.  Were there higher taxes under Clinton than the first George Bush?  Yes.  Did Danny make-out with the girl?  Yes.  Is she now a lesbian?  Yes. Are the two facts necessarily connected?  NO.

“But Danny, (you whine) how can you explain the economic growth under Clinton with higher taxes?”  Pfffffffffffffffffff…okay.  Taxes aren’t the only economic factor.  During the Clinton years the Internet came bursting on the scene, unleashing the most powerful burst of economic innovation since the Industrial Revolution.  There was a new excitement–almost frenzy–of economic activity that Clinton’s high taxes didn’t have the power to squash.  (FYI, I just had the hardest time spelling the word “squash.”)  This is one of my beefs with Krugman.  He lays out his arguments, not-so-subtly, implying that Republicans are idiots for openly acknowledging that taxes stifle economic activity, when he doesn’t have the gonads to suggest higher taxes encourage economic growth.  I guess even he can’t be that intellectually dishonest.  I can prove higher taxes don’t encourage economic growth. This is me dumbing it down.

I give you Dr. Seuss’ “The Lorax”

In the Lorax (I read the book, I have never seen the movie) there was a man called the Once-ler.  The Once-ler made and sold an item called a Thneed.  “I’m being quite useful.  This thing is a Thneed.  A Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!  It’s a shirt.  It’s a sock.  It’s a glove.  It’s a hat.  But it has OTHER uses.  Yes, far beyond that.  You can use it for carpets.  For pillows!  For sheets!  Or curtains!  Or covers for bicycle seats!”


For easy math let’s say in today’s economy you could buy a Thneed for $100.  For something so useful a hundred bucks is a screaming deal.  You save until you have the required “Benjamin” and then you remember taxes.  You figure if you go with $108 you should be able to make your coveted purchase.  You go to the store and there you see two Thneeds (a Thneed’s a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need) one of them for $100 plus tax the other (for whatever reason) is a hundred dollars even.  You look and compare and they are both completely identical.  So the question is which would you buy?

Any idiot would purchase the cheaper item.

Now you have $8.00 burning a hole in your pocket.
You go to Wendy’s and purchase a small chili with cheese and onion, and a baked potato for $3.05.  Then to the local convenience store and purchase a large drink and a pack of gum.  While there you see a bucket with a sign asking for donations to the “Dyslexic Dalmatian Society,” and because Americans are the most generous people in the world, you decide to donate the rest of your Thneed money there.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is a dumbed-down example of how lower taxes encourage economic growth.

Of course there needs to be taxes.  But we really need to get the spending under control. You can argue all day that there can be economic growth with higher taxes; of course you can also argue 2+2=5.

You’re still wrong.


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