Friday, August 20, 2010

Extending unemployment benefits and reducing taxes are not the same thing

In his article in the NY Times today, Mr. Krugman talks about what he considers is an irrational fear of rising bond prices. Deficit hawks, namely republicans and moderate democrats that Krugman does not like, keep insisting that the US focuses on deficit reduction to ensure that we do not end up like Greece, prisoners of the bond market.

While this may not be happening, as Krugman argues, it is Krugman's statement near the end of the article that bothers me more:

"Notice, in particular, how suddenly Republicans lost interest in the budget deficit when they were challenged about the cost of retaining tax cuts for the wealthy. But that won’t stop them from continuing to pose as deficit hawks whenever anyone proposes doing something to help the unemployed."

I am extremely tired of liberals equating wealth redistribution, such as extending unemployment benefits, with tax cuts. While both indeed may negatively impact the budget, it is nonsense to say that taking someones money and giving it to someone else is the same as letting everyone keep more of their money. I am very much in favor of taking steps to reduce the deficit. But I am also in favor of letting people keep their own money. I am not in favor of wealth redistribution. This is not hypocritical. Both lower taxes and a lower deficit are good things, in my mind morally right things. Wealth redistribution is stealing. If Mr. Krugman wants to be Robin Hood lets at least call him what he is. Prince of THIEVES.

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