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The POTUS sweepstakes

The POTUS sweepstakes are underway and we’re amid the usual lip service given by politicians who promise us all free ponies and economic nirvana.

Bernie Sanders is no different from most, but he’s arguably the most annoying and vacuous. Let’s fisk one of Bernie’s favorite talking points, raising taxes “on the rich” to “pay for” free stuff and allegedly reduce this mountain of debt.

From FY 1962 (Kennedy’s first) through FY 1981 (Carter’s last) the top personal income tax rate was 70 percent, the average capital gains (long-term) rate was 30.5 percent (double-taxation at its finest), the top corporate income tax rate never strayed below the 46 percent mark and payroll taxes increased more than 350 percent from 1950-75.

The results? In FY 1969 the budget was balanced one solitary time. Most of that can be credited to front-loading of Medicare HI taxes in the late 1960s, before the program started shelling out money. Democrats controlled Congress the entire time I covered above.

Meaning: Bernie Sanders et al have no intention of balancing the budget, they will not balance the budget, they just want more income redistribution.

0MB Historical data will elucidate this, the only thing politicians do with new revenue streams is waste them and use them to buy votes. Decades down the road they’ll be clamoring for more, blaming some hypothetical “rich guy” for not paying enough and that in turn, shafts folks who don’t pay any federal income taxes.

The labor force participation rate was MUCH higher back then and all income quintiles had a positive income tax rate. In addition, bracket creep from inflationary pressure in the 1970s vacuumed up a lot of “middle class” taxpayers and put them in higher brackets.

Bernie’s plea for higher taxes will lead to more and more debt, period. Smaller government is more efficient.