Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Higher Tax Rates Do Not Result in Higher Tax Revenues

By Vahan Janjigian - It is absolutely mind boggling how people continue to confuse higher tax rates with higher tax revenues. Numerous pundits continue to argue that we need to raise tax rates to fund the growing budget deficit. But raising tax rates is one sure way of making sure the budget deficit grows even larger.

There are only two ways to shrink a deficit: 1) Spend less money. 2) Generate more revenue. Spending less money is a great idea, but given all the promises the government has made to various constituents, this is not likely to happen in the near future. Therefore, we must raise more revenue, but that will not happen by raising tax rates.

Higher tax rates are a recipe for reduced employment and slower economic growth (or a more severe recession). Time and time again, we have seen how tax rate cuts have spurred employment, economic growth, and tax revenues. Budget deficits during such lower tax rate/higher tax revenue eras are the result of uncontrolled spending, not the result of less revenue.

Politicians should be clear and honest. Tell us we need more tax revenue, not higher tax rates. Then lower tax rates to make sure we get the revenue we need.