Paul Ryan told a reporter on Tuesday that Barack Obama believes that "our natural rights are not enough...that the government must invent and create new rights. But if we put the government in that position, to grant us and define new rights for us, then they're assuming the right on how we exercise those rights......that's giving the government a lot of power....."
This "natural rights" stuff is a pet peeve of mine....so....Consider....
What would "natural rights" consist of? Are natural rights "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness?" When the Founders wrote those words, were they the words of man....or nature? If they were the words of nature, who spoke for nature? Were there any interpreters involved? Who recorded those natural rights?
Furthermore, if our rights are natural rights....then why, in 18th century America, were those rights not extended to blacks, slaves, women or native Americans? I mean, if our rights are a matter of nature?
Did not government "invent" new rights when slavery was abolished in the 19th century. Who invented those new rights....nature? Or was it the collective of the American people? Why were women prevented from voting, or owning property, for so many years here in America, if our rights are from nature....and are, in reality, self-evident from nature?
Truth is.....Americans choose the government they want through the ballot box. Nature has nothing to do with it. Over time, human rights have become more and more self-evident....and the collective representative government has adapted to that self-evidence by voting to grant equal rights, voting rights, etc...to ALL Americans not just self-evident white Anglos.
If nature determines our human rights, then anything goes because nature tells us the world is a "survival of the fittest" world. Isn't that correct? So, no....Mr. Ryan....as man evolves, and is further educated and made more self-aware....American mankind determines what rights are consistent and judicious. That's the history of America.
But then, Mr. Ryan was asked about a favorite topic lately on this blog.....capital gains taxes.
Question: Why should capital gains be taxed at a lower rate than, say, income?
"Well, first, it's money that has already been taxed before, so that's a second layer of taxation on money that's already been taxed. This money creates jobs. When people invest in riskier propositions, in businesses, they don't know whether they will succeed or not. You want to have more capital that goes to more businesses....."
There it is again. The "double taxation" fraud. Corporations pay corporate taxes...at an average effective tax rate of 13.4%. The actual corporate rate is 35%, but because of decades of corporate lobbying, government welfare in the shape of tax deductions reduces the average effective corporate tax rate to 13.4%...one of the lowest in the world.
But that effective corporate tax rate has nothing to do with the capital gains tax that a stockholder pays when he sells his stock and makes a profit. Nothing. If I buy a stock, or if Mitt buys a stock....when I or Mitt sell that stock and make a profit....our profits are taxed according to the current capital gains rate of 15%.
Corporate taxes are what corporations pay on corporate profits.....capital gains taxes, in this case, are what stockholders pay when they make a profit from selling their stock holdings. Point being....there is no "double taxation" involved when paying capital gains taxes on stock profits. Stocks are purchased with money that has already been taxed....and the purchasing cost of those stocks are never taxed again....only the profits.
Ryan may, or may not, have an argument when it comes to dividend tax rates........but he is wrong, and he purposely blurred the lines, when he said that capital gains taxes amount to "double taxation." But, then, he was simply defending his GOP running mate who made $13.7 million last year and paid an effective tax rate of 14.1%.....all because Mitt Romney made most, if not all, of his money from capital gains...which are currently taxed at a lower rate than most middle class workers pay on their yearly wages.
Ryan's second defense of low capital gains tax rates is...."this money creates jobs."
Ryan claimed that very rich guys, who only pay 15% capital gains tax rates on the millions they earn buying and selling stocks "create jobs" with the money saved from paying a lower tax rate than a plumber or electrician. Well, the capital gains tax rate has been at 15% for almost 10 continuous years now.....where are those jobs?
Finally....top-down economics states that the top 5% create all the jobs. In this voodoo-strain of economic pipedreaming, if the top 5% get all the tax breaks, cuts, and whatnot....it is because they will create jobs with the savings. That, of course, has never proven out to be true....but it is what it is.
Reality is that consumers are the only real job creators. As consumers spend money, more jobs are created to fill the demand. The demand is first created by consumers, not suppliers. Ryan and Romney have it backwards...and president Obama has been right-on in explaining this backwardness in his stump speeches.
Our long recessionary period does not want for supply. We have plenty of supply. We need demand....and nothing Romney and Ryan are offering addresses the core problem in our current economy, most of their policies will make things worse. R&R only represent the privileged class....and they will say anything, even if it is not true, to reward the class they represent.