Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.”     Ronald Reagan

August 15, 2007

George Bush: The Biggest Taxer In History

by Doug Mataconis

The sad truth comes from David Boaz:

The Treasury Department reported Friday that federal revenues reached $2.12 trillion ($2,120,000,000,0000) for the first ten months of fiscal year 2007. In both current and inflation-adjusted dollars, that puts the federal government on course for the most revenue it’s ever collected in a year. Indeed, it’s the most revenue any government in the history of the world has ever collected. And yet it’s not enough to satisfy the voracious appetites of the spenders in Congress and the administration. Spending was $2.27 trillion for the same ten months.

(…)

It seems safe to conclude that George W. Bush will go down in history as the biggest taxer and the biggest spender ever.

I suppose congratulations are in order Mr. President, you screwed us over better than anyone else ever could.

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8 Comments

  1. Doug,

    Isn’t that one of the points that we supply siders try to make: that when taxes are cut, revenue to the government increases rather than decreases? I think your anger is misplaced in this case. Don’t be angry at the Bush administration for increasing revenue; be angry at the Bush administration for the spending.

    Comment by Stephen Littau — August 15, 2007 @ 9:06 am
  2. I agree with Stephen. The only gripe with the Bush administration I’ve got on the taxation side of things is their fondness for protectionist tariffs (as with steel and Brazilian ethanol to name two). Otherwise, they haven’t been particularly bad for taxes.

    Spending on the other hand…

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 9:36 am
  3. Stephen and UCrawford:

    I think your mindsets are the direct opposite of what Doug is trying to get at. Yes, supply side economics works wonders for revenue. No one disputes that.

    But the question is: Why are we celebrating that the government is taking more money from us than at any other time in the history of this nation??!

    IMO, conservatives and economic liberals need to turn their viewpoints around about this. This is a negative, not a positive.

    Comment by Adam — August 15, 2007 @ 11:00 am
  4. The government isn’t exactly taking “more” revenue from us…it’s taking roughly the same percentage they did before. The increase in their revenues simply means that we’re making more money, and that’s always cause to celebrate.

    That said, I’m all for cutting back on the amount of money government takes, as well as limiting the services they provide (which is actually more important) and regulation they impose. Heck, I’d love for people to start discussing the idea of a voluntary taxation system. That never seems to get brought up.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 11:17 am
  5. But the terrorists!

    Comment by somebody — August 15, 2007 @ 11:23 am
  6. I understand your point UCrawford. It would be nice if government, instead of spending all the money, would cut spending and give the surplus back to the people. Hey, I can dream right?

    A voluntary taxation system is an interesting idea that I’ve never heard of. Could be worth looking into.

    As far as your other comments, I’d saying “making more money” is good, government taking more and spending it all, bad. Whatever happened to the word income meaning “profits and gains?” Ugh.

    Comment by Adam — August 15, 2007 @ 11:58 am
  7. Adam,

    Voluntary taxation is an idea that’s kind of existed at the fringe of libertarianism. Ayn Rand was in favor of it, as was Murray Rothbard, but I don’t know that it advanced much beyond the “neat idea” stage. But I think it’s something worth visiting and seriously discussing. Government’s shown a fondness for sponsoring gambling these days…perhaps we might consider substituting state-sponsored gambling for our existing taxes? Not that I’m actually making a case for it, just spit-balling ideas.

    I’m all in favor of cutting back on the taxes, both percentage-wise and net-wise. I just don’t get too bent out of shape about the government’s net getting bigger while the percentages remain the same. The spending pisses me off more.

    Comment by UCrawford — August 15, 2007 @ 12:42 pm
  8. If you look at the chart the trend for government receipts has been up since 1940. Even Clinton set records for government receipts in 7 of his 8 years as president.

    Comment by Thomas — August 17, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

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