Sunday, August 05, 2012

Let's Raise Taxes

Glenn Reynolds, who blogs as the Instapundit, has some proposals for tax increases that Republicans should all-out support:
For the past few years, there has been a drumbeat in favor of increased taxes from Democrats of all stripes. Make the rich pay their "fair share." Get rid of "loopholes." Make the fat cats "chip in a little more." Then Democrats hold up budgets and bills in an effort to extract some tax increases from Republicans.

It's no coincidence that much of the Democrats' base doesn't have to worry about taxes much, either because they work for nonprofits and public entities that don't pay taxes, or because they live off government benefits, or because they work in industries -- like the motion picture and recording industries -- with a long history of shady accounting and favorable tax treatment. Republicans, if they're smart, can nonetheless teach them that tax increases do, in fact, hurt.

They should head into the next budget battle with a list of proposals for tax increases that will sting Democratic constituency groups, but which will seem eminently fair to voters.

The first such proposal would be to restore the 20 percent excise tax on motion picture theater gross revenues that existed between the end of World War II and its repeal in the mid-1950s. The campaign to end the excise tax had studio executives and movie stars talking like Art Laffer (watch the video!), as they noted that high taxes reduced business income, hurt investment and cost jobs.

The movie excise tax was imposed in response to the high deficits after World War Two. Deficits are high again, and there's already historical precedent. Of course, to keep up with technology, the tax should now apply to DVDs, downloadable movies, pay-per-view and the like. But in these financially perilous times, why should movie stars and studio moguls, with their yachts, swimming pools and private jets, not at least shoulder the burden they carried back in Harry Truman's day -- when, to be honest, movies were better anyway.

For extra fun, they could show pictures of David Geffen's yacht and John Travolta's personal Boeing 707 on the Senate floor. You want to tax fat cats? I gotcher "fat cats" right here! Repeal the Hollywood Tax Cuts!
He has other suggestions in the article.

1 comment:

MikeAT said...


How about the Ben and Jerry’s Rule. We will limit the annual salary of the stars and Hollywood big execs to 17 times what their lowest paid employee makes.

Back in the mid 90’s B&J were looking for a new CEO to run their company but the salary was (as I recall ) 750K. Our ice cream geniuses believed they should work like Europe where the big bosses average 17 times what the lowest employee makes. If it’s good enough for France it should be good enough for George Clooney or John Travota.

BTY, Ben and Jerry’s didn’t hire a CEO for that salary. This is high end talent they were asking for and no one would take such a pay cut. So they had each applicant prepare a paper explaining why they should be paid so much. In the words of Bugs Bunny, What a maroon!