Robert knows best
Robert Frank's latest NY Times piece is amazing in its incredibly low ratio of facts to opinion.
When do low tax rates hurt the rich? When Bob Frank says so, buddy.
Let's break down some of the questionable and unsubstantiated claims.
First is the axiom that money buys national political outcomes. That rich donors have bought low tax rates and deregulation. Frank cannot conceive of the idea that low tax rates and deregulation might actually be popular policies with a wide swath of the population! Nor does he present any evidence that money buys outcomes. Perhaps that's because there is little to no evidence that it does.
Next is the bizarre idea that budget deficits reduce the "quantity and quality of public services". Actually, given a level of revenue, budget deficits INCREASE the quantity of public services above what could be purchased without the deficit. Budget deficits are the buffer that keep government purchases from falling one to one with declines in revenue.
Now consider Frank's notion that taxes on the wealthy are currently so low that we cannot have paved roads and safe bridges. In FY 2012, we spent $287 billion on transportation (Federal State and Local combined). Total government spending is running over $5.6 trillion dollars in 2012. There is plenty of money for basic public services and infrastructure. At current tax levels, the rich can have their Bentleys and paved roads to drive them on. It's hard to believe that the rich are both so powerful they can dictate their tax rates but so un-powerful that they can't influence where the money is spent.
There's much more, but I'll leave that for you people.