WSJ  February 23, 2019

Letter to the Editor

Seek a Spending Revolution, Not a Tax One

The question isn’t how much we should tax; it is how much we can spend.

269 words

“The Next Tax Revolution?”(Review, Feb. 16) ends with the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Eileen Appelbaum opining: “It’s just become so obvious and clear that if the wealthy can suck so much out of the economy, there’s just not so much left for everybody else.” Such an observation might have had some merit in centuries past when land, which is finite, was the basis of wealth. When the biggest and baddest gobbled up all the land, the rest of the populace could only be tenants and serfs. That economic model went away several hundred years ago, at least in most places. The pie isn’t static. Innovation, production and commercialization continually expand the wealth—the pie—of everybody. The wealthy do not, like in Disney’s “Uncle Scrooge” comic books, store their wealth in a huge money bin. That money, or capital, goes back to work. Some taxation is necessary to provide an authority with the means to protect ordered liberty, but if confiscatory, it stifles the innovation and production of wealth. Then we have either a static or smaller pie.

Robert J. Reagan Dallas


It appears U.S. fiscal and monetary policies meet all of the requirements of a folly as outlined in Barbara Tuchman’s book “The March of Folly.” Whether it is the Democrats’ new tax-and-spend ideas or the Republicans’ spending on wars and the military while deferring payment toward a huge national debt, we risk not only our own economy but also place the world economy at risk. The question isn’t how much we should tax; it is how much we can spend.

Mark R. Spencer Flagstaff, Ariz.■

[Editor: To compliment these thoughts today, there are several attempts being made to amend the Constitution to control spending by Congress. We’ve had 61 consecutive years of increasing debt and the Supreme Court has noted that Congress has no restrictions on them or motivation to control spending.]