I think you are right about an optimal level for taxes. If they are too low, the public infrastructure collapses. The economy can not efficiently operate when the roads and bridges collapse; when courts are not properly staffed; when public safety is not protected; and when citizens are not well educated.
Likewise if taxes are to high and especially if government is skimming off money for illegal or personal uses, then money is wasted and not supporting economic growth and stability.
The optimal level probably changes based on many external conditions. A number of countries have very high taxes, with economies that are not to bad. The US has about the lowest taxes of any developed country. but with considerable debt and infrastructure problems. The optimal level is probably somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.
This assertion needs to be challenged.
Please post a link to support your assertion that lower cap gain rates increases revenues.
I have previously looked at revenues vs. overall tax rates during the last two decades and found no such conclusion after long term GDP growth and inflation were taken into account.
It seems to me that on purely theoretical grounds that there must be some optimum level of taxation that maximizes revenues (both 100% and 0% tax rates yield zero revenues).
Okay everyone, get real. Neither Obama or McCain have a clue about how to revive our weak economy. Not a clue. Obama just borrows from the communist Karl Marx's "Das Kapital" where you take money from the affluent who worked very hard to get where they are, and give it to the "beleagured masses" who can't make their own way through life. What a losing proposition that was/is.
McCain at least said that the economy is not his strong suit. Wow, aren't we lucky to have these two brilliant leaders to choose from?
Yeah, right. Where are the giants?
You are totally mis-stating the facts. Here is the real story (courtesy of the Wikipedia article on the history of capital gains taxation):
The reduced 15% tax rate on eligible dividends and capital gains, previously scheduled to expire in 2008, was extended through 2010 as a result of the Tax Reconciliation Act signed into law by President George W. Bush on May 17, 2006. As a result:
In 2008, 2009, and 2010, the tax rate on eligible dividends and long term capital gains is 0% for those in the 10% and 15% income tax brackets.
After 2010, dividends will be taxed at the taxpayer's ordinary income tax rate, regardless of his or her tax bracket.
After 2010, the long-term capital gains tax rate will be 20% (10% for taxpayers in the 15% tax bracket).
After 2010, the qualified five-year 18% capital gains rate (8% for taxpayers in the 15% tax bracket) will be reinstated.
In other words, Bush's own tax bill will raise capital gains rates after 2010 by one-third (from 15% to 20%) and restore taxation of dividends as ordinary income.
Until the Bush tax bills, dividends were always taxed as ordinary income (subject to a small exemption) and the sunset provision in the Bush tax bills simply restores that treatment.
I think it is appropriate to call the 2006 tax bill "Bush's tax bill" because Republicans still controlled Congress at that point. The 2006 elections were 6 months away when Bush signed the bill into law.
BooBoo will repeal the Bush tax cuts - that's across the board - and last I checked that includes raising the Capital Gains Tax!
How do you guess the markets would react prior to Jan. 20, 2009, if you know your investment gains will be higher taxed after that date? - not all change is good.
fyi Obama seems to favor raising CG to 20% to 25%, which would be a 33% to 67% increase over the current rate of 15%
Barack Obama says he wants to perhaps nearly double the capital gains tax rate. Here is what he told CNBC's Maria Bartiromo last week:
Well, you know, I haven't given a firm number. Here's my belief, that we can't go back to some of the, you know, confiscatory rates that existed in the past that distorted sound economics. And I certainly would not go above what existed under Bill Clinton, which was 28 percent. I would—and my guess would be it would be significantly lower than that. I think that we can have a capital gains rate that is higher than 15 percent. If it—and if it, you know—when I talk to people like Warren Buffett or others and I ask them, you know, what's—how much of a difference is it going to be if it's 20 or 25 percent, they say, look, if it's within that range, then it's not going to distort, I think, economic decision making.
how much dividend tax did you pay last year at 15%? What would it be at $25%? Probably peanuts relative to your healthcare bill or college costs etc.
Would it please you more if Fed raises SST ceiling or retirement age instead? If not, do tell alterantives. Money must come from somewhere.
Please look at the big picture.