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The 9 Biggest Conservative Lies About Taxes and Public Spending

Next time you need to win an argument with a supply-sider, AlterNet has a rather well done debunking of the nine biggest conservative lies about taxes and public spending. Here are the lies:

1. Cutting Taxes Leads to More Money for the Government
2. Conservatives’ Favorite Economist Proves the Point
3. Taxes on the Rich Keep ‘Wealth Producers’ from ‘Creating Jobs’
4. The Opposite: Tax Cuts for Upper Earners Spur Job Growth
5. Only Half of American Families Pay Taxes
6. Americans Are Taxed to Death
7. We’re Being Killed by Runaway Government Spending
8. Conservatives Favor Low Taxes and Limited Government
9. Taxes on Top Earners Are Actually Taxes on ‘Small Businesses’

You’ll have to read the article for the rebuttal!



  1. Mad Hatter wrote:

    Thanks IK, great article. My only formal training in economics was Samuelson Econ 101 and one course in Engineering Econ so my economic knowledge is not very deep. However, ever since Ronnie et al started their “trickle down” supply side scam I knew in my gut that it just didn’t ring true.

    This article validates a lot of my thinking, especially this from the article…”What’s noteworthy about the narrative is the degree to which it defies simple common sense. It shouldn’t be a matter of debate that only one thing creates jobs, and that’s demand for companies’ goods and services. The idea that a business that was booming would refuse to hire people and forego expansion because top tax rates might nudge upward is as silly as the idea that a business that has no customers would add new employees because its owners expect taxes to be low.”

    It truely does defy commonsense.

    Friday, December 24, 2010 at 5:22 pm | Permalink
  2. Jason Ray wrote:

    It’s unfortunate that so many American voters can’t do the math – or that common sense isn’t more common.

    Excellent article, IK. How do we get independant and Republican voters to read it? *grins*

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 1:46 am | Permalink
  3. ebdoug wrote:

    PLEASE: I’ve been an Independent or “no label” all my life. I vote for the person. Had Hillary run, I might have undervoted.

    We could take a survey on this site of Party affiliation.

    Saturday, December 25, 2010 at 8:07 am | Permalink
  4. russell wrote:

    Hatter, small business planning has been more upset by health care uncertainty than taxes. Not saying we don’t need health care reform (we do), but health care has become an overwhelming expense in small business. Trust me :/

    #9 is true up to a point, where estate taxes hit under a couple million small businesses can be forced to liquidate. For larger estates and billion-dollar incomes the argument is baloney. In those cases there really isn’t much revenue to be had, but it is fair to expect them to pay @ higher rates.

    Merry Christmas, Knee!

    Sunday, December 26, 2010 at 9:08 pm | Permalink
  5. b wrote:

    This article has got me thinking.

    If lowering taxes supposedly will increase government revenue, and Republicans are for smaller government why would they want the revenue of the federal government to go up?

    Monday, December 27, 2010 at 5:12 am | Permalink
  6. Iron Knee wrote:

    Russell, as someone who has started a dozen small businesses (and is in the middle of starting another one), I definitely agree that health care issues are a far bigger problem than taxes. Right now, the startup I’m involved in is too small and has no money to offer health insurance to its employees, and about half the people who want to join the company cannot because they don’t dare give up their health insurance. It is a HUGE problem!

    But I have to disagree with your assertion that estate taxes cause small businesses to liquidate. If the business is set up properly, there will be no problems. Same with “family farms” (the excuse that people always use for eliminating estate taxes. A friend of mine is an expert in immigration law, and her family had a family farm, and she says there are already plenty of ways to protect a family farm from estate taxes. Only someone who didn’t bother to set things up properly would be affected by estate taxes.

    Monday, December 27, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Permalink