This is the text of a letter I sent to the White House.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Dear Mr. President,
It seems readily apparent that you have no clue as to the best course to take on the economy. The old democrat response of throwing money at the problem has not assuaged the fears of Wall Street, and we have seen a 25% fall in value since you became president. You need a structured plan, one that will help the private sector, not one that will simply expand the size of the federal government. Any plan to rescue the private sector must be predicated on the principles upon which this country was founded. I understand that you are a graduate of Harvard University, and so I will use small words. Try to pay attention.
The United States was founded on the principle of individual liberty. Now, whence does individual liberty flow? Property. Ownership of property conveys liberty. This is why the Magna Charta was established , to protect individual ownership of property, and why the rights to the "purse-strings" were restricted to Parliament. By this, the barons sought to limit the power of the king. If the central government does not have untrammeled rights to revenue, but needs to seek permission from another body, the central government is then restricted in its use of power. In fact, the owners of property have the power to refuse income to the king.
If we locate property in a larger number of people, there are even greater restrictions on power. Hence it is that the Founders sought to protect the property rights of individual citizens, because individual property ensures individual political rights. Essentially, money equals freedom.
And when money is left to the individual, that money tends to flow. Citizens buy things. Groceries, durable goods, and services are all things that people are willing to pay money for. When money passes from the consumer to the producer of a good or a service, that producer will, in turn, become a consumer. The better a good or service, the more people want it, and the more profitable it becomes. When a business producing a good or a service is profitable, it expands and employs more people, who in turn have more money to spend on goods and services.
So, it seems that the best course to improve the economy is to make sure that people have more of their money to spend. And how is that accomplished? Tax cuts, of course. And not tax cuts for 95% of all Americans, because 50% of Americans pay no taxes to begin with. The top 5% of earners pay more than 50% of all taxes. The people with the most money are the ones who spend the money that moves the economy. The more they have to pay in taxes, the less money they will spend, seeking instead to protect the assets that they do have from the taxes they see are inevitable. The top 5% of earners will certainly avoid investing, as you propose to cripple them with burdensome taxes on capital gains. If I know that my investments will be taxed at an onerous rate, I will make sure to divest myself of my investments, and put the money in a tax-protected account.
So, to increase spending, you will have to lower taxes on everyone, not just the people who voted for you.
But where do we get the money for all the social programs you are planning? Here's the rub: you don't. Now you have to make the hard choices that any head of household has to make in tough economic times: what do we really need? We need national defense, we need to maintain national infrastructure. The arts are nice, but where do they lie in the scale of need? Every line item in the budget needs to be justified as necessary. Payoffs to community organizers may be nice, but they are hardly necessary.
Now that we have cut back on taxes, freeing up American incomes, and reduced government spending, you can take a third step: reducing the governmental regulations that make starting up a business so difficult. Let's say that I have come up with a great new good or service. Because of your tax cuts, I am able to invest in a business to market this great new idea, but when I try to bring my idea to market, I am slapped with thousands of pages of rules and regulations that require me to spend more time in answering governmental demands than the needs of my customers. Why bother? What you want to do is make this easier, give me a reason to start my business. The more successful my business, the more people I can hire, and the more people become wage earners who will in turn pay taxes. Tax revenues will go up. Yes, lower tax rates result in higher tax revenues.
Do I expect you to do any of this? Certainly not. You are wedded to your political platform and are unable to look beyond politics to simple economic reality. You have so many special interest groups that you are beholden to that even were you to desire to do the right thing, you are afraid of losing their support. Unfortunately for all of us, fear and subservience are poor postures for a leader.
You have the opportunity to transcend mere politics and strike a blow for individual liberty and economic prosperity for all Americans. I pray that you will have the courage to do so.
Matthew D. Moore