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Picking Winners and Losers

Ruben Bolling
© Ruben Bolling

Any time I hear someone say “the government shouldn’t pick winners and losers” I have to laugh. Almost everything the government does picks winners and losers. When something becomes illegal, the people who were doing that thing become losers. When Congress gives tax breaks, the people who receive those breaks become winners. There are very few laws that don’t create (at least a few) winners or losers.

And that is the way it should be. That is what laws do.

As this comic points out, the same people who claim the government shouldn’t pick winners and losers are all for it as long as they are the winners and someone else is the loser.

UPDATE: A new study reports that income inequality is now the highest it has been since 1928. Coincidentally, do you know what happened just after 1928?



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    “He who dies with the most toys wins”
    I’ve been yelling and screaming about that since baby Bush put in his tax cuts to the rich in 2003. When I did my tax return this year, I said to myself “why am I bothering to try to itemize, I already get huge breaks from the dividends not being taxed.” So I didn’t bother.

    Monday, December 23, 2013 at 5:07 am | Permalink
  2. Jon wrote:

    So… the richest 10% pay 71% of total taxes. They also control over 80% of the nation’s wealth.

    Put another way, the 10% who control over 80% of the wealth pay 71% of total taxes, while the 90% who control 20% of the wealth pay 29% of total taxes.

    The 80% number is intentionally low for the sake of preemptively quelling any argument, and the reality is even more skewed.

    Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:01 pm | Permalink
  3. Jon wrote:

    Oh, and by the way, he who dies with the most toys is dead.

    Monday, December 23, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Permalink
  4. ebdoug wrote:

    I know that. I hate the shirts that say that. I would not want to know those people.

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 6:42 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Speaking of picking winners and losers, here is an article about how ALEC, bankrolled by people like the Koch brothers (who have interests in refineries, oil and natural gas pipelines, and petrochemicals), are pushing to *raise* taxes on people who install their own solar panels. They have already succeeded in Arizona, and are working on other states. Aren’t conservatives supposed to be against raising taxes? But if it puts money in the pocket of a huge company (while damaging the environment and making us more dependent on fossil fuels) it looks like they are all for it.

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 10:33 am | Permalink
  6. ebdoug wrote:

    I have begged my Democratic Senators from New York to raise Federal Taxes on the rich. They are deaf to my please. Maybe I should send that article to Schumer.
    New York has either the highest or next to the highest taxes of all the states. I won’t move from here because that money collected helps level the playing field.

    Tuesday, December 24, 2013 at 5:36 pm | Permalink