美国税改再度显示民智的局限性

作者:wjbf  于 2017-5-1 23:12 发表于 最热闹的华人社交网络--贝壳村

作者分类:财经万花筒|通用分类:热点杂谈|已有18评论

关键词:局限性, 美国

特朗普最近推出税改提纲,开始落实他大选时期的竞选口号。提纲细化成实际税改方案还有很长的路,但特朗普税改提纲清晰勾画了这届政府的税改思路。税改提纲由财政部长Steven Mnuchin和白宫顾问Gary Cohn公布,值得一提的是,两位大员均是顶级投行高盛的前雇员。高盛对政府的无形之手常被诟病,希拉里以前受邀在高盛发表小圈子演讲也被炒成她的竞选污点,如今高盛门徒主持美国历史上最大税改,也是一出政治滑稽剧。

正如所有政治大戏,特朗普的税改用尽了老百姓爱听的词汇,比如简化税法,初中生也可以自己报税啊;减低税率,你能少交钱,等等。同时,特朗普还宣称,税改是为了美国利益,不是给富人好处。通过取缔各种避税手段,富人可能还要多交税。特朗普政府这么为民请命,你能不倾力支持吗?不过只要稍微仔细一点儿,就会发现,15%的企业税惠及所谓的 Pass Throuh 就是给富人送大礼,特朗普自己的房地产生意就是最大受惠者之一。特朗普还要取缔遗产税,也是给富人送大礼,小布什当年都没能真正做到。

在一个民主治国,法制健全的国度,个人财富受到尊重和保护,仇富对社会无疑是有害的。美国给勤奋努力提供了丰富的机会,让美国梦十分诱人。但美国社会自八十年代开始贫富分化持续加剧,日益成为严重社会问题。美国工资收入增长长期落后于经济增长,造成消费增长不足,日益拖累经济增长。更多讨论见《美国经济增长未让大部分人受益》。在此社会背景下,税改究竟谁最受益即使个经济问题,也是个政治问题。政策得当与否关系到美国未来,因此政策辩论要注重事实,而不是政治口号。但一个让富人受惠的税改被标榜成为中产谋福利,再次反映了华盛顿政客的虚伪和无耻。

为什么政客的欺骗可以大行其道?《钓愚:操纵与欺骗的经济学( Phishing for Phools)》一书对此有深入分析。笔者强烈推荐这本书,它能帮你擦亮眼睛,看穿日常生活中商人推销术的把戏,还能帮助分辨政客的忽悠。在减税这个议题上至少有两个让民众极易上当的误区。

一个误区是大家都减税是不是好事,很多人都会觉得是好事,人人受益,何乐而不为也。其实这不是好事,因为这会增加财政赤字。美国政府债务已经超过GDP,债务之严重到了关乎国家安全的程度。任何大幅加剧债务的政策都是十分危险和不负责任的。这个常识被很多人接受,对政客是个束缚。为此,政客发明了小小骗术,称减税可以刺激经济,未来的高增长可以自动填平现在挖的坑,而且还会收支盈余。历史多次证明,这种理论往往以失败告终,结果是政府在债务泥潭越陷越深。但这些危险不是三言两语能说明白的,政客的推销术加上对未来的乐观让民众难辨真伪。

其次,即使大家都减税了,还要看谁减的多,谁减的少。常言道,天上不会掉馅饼。洋人谚语是世界上没有免费午餐。如果中产减税5%,富人减税10%,中产不是赚了,而是赔了。这个听起来不合情理,减了5%比不减好,不是吗?问题是大家分大饼,大饼当然可以做大,但大饼做大的速度,也就是经济增长速度,是很难提高的。在大饼基本不变的前提下,中产减税5%当然输给富人减税10%!

众议院领袖 Paul Ryan 在CBS 60分钟访谈录中被问及减税是否过多惠及富人,Ryan 完全回避这个问题,被追问后,他称这个问题就是错的,富人钱多了就会投资发展经济,最后大家都受惠。Ryan 的回答是经典的政客骗术。美国经济增长的瓶颈不是缺乏资金,企业有钱无处用,天天忙着买自家股票,这就是最好的证明。美国经济增长的瓶颈是消费增长不足,而消费增长不足则是缘于工资增长长期落后于经济增长。这些 Ryan 是不会告诉你的。

最后,政客还喜欢混淆富人这个概念,把二三十万收入也当成富人,把他们的减税程度和几万收入的人群比较,以便证明中低收入减税受益更大。事实上在高消费地区,二三十万的家庭收入也就是小康而已。这个族群其实最累,不仅要存钱养老,还有交付子女的高昂学费,没有任何社会福利。即使四五十万的收入,也并太不富裕。但为了政治需要,这个族群常常成为最大牺牲品。

锈带穷人不满被美国经济抛弃,推选局外人特朗普,但特朗普税改会让贫富差距和社会阶层更加固化,民智的局限性再次昭显,锈带穷人只能认栽了。

作者:藿香子
时间:2017年4月30日
(版权所有,欢迎转载,请注明出处) 

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12 回复 徐福男儿 2017-5-1 23:42
民众太容易被忽悠了。
13 回复 tanjiang10 2017-5-2 00:11
   中产有可能交更多税,富人肯定会减很多的税。这就是它的税改真正目的。
14 回复 qxw66 2017-5-2 01:33
大嘴监守自盗,够无耻的
15 回复 tutu0077 2017-5-2 01:45
呵呵 希拉里支持者都一个德性 跟自己意见相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民众当弱智的人最终也只是智障不自知而已
10 回复 wjbf 2017-5-2 04:56
tutu0077: 呵呵 希拉里支持者都一个德性 跟自己意见相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民众当弱智的人最终也只是智障不自知而已
先入为主,假设我是“希拉里支持者“,你是不是也很”智障“?
12 回复 wjbf 2017-5-2 05:04
tutu0077: 呵呵 希拉里支持者都一个德性 跟自己意见相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民众当弱智的人最终也只是智障不自知而已
建议你读读《钓愚:操纵与欺骗的经济学( Phishing for Phools)》,有助了解人性弱点是如何被商人和政客反复利用的。
13 回复 SecondThought 2017-5-2 06:09
You may need to reverse your logic: How much further will the average Americans continue to bleed if the corporate tax rate stays at 36%. Very few American corporations pay the 36% on the tax. With such a high rate, they move their operations into other countries, which results the continuous job loss in U.S. You charge the riches the death tax, they can cease to be American citizens. One of the Facebook founders, gave up the American citizenship before he realized a large portion of the FB holding. Capital is a scare resource and has no border. If U.S. does not treat its rich citizens well, other countries will welcome them. 15% corporate tax will keep the U.S. operations, attract the foreign capital, and also give Trump administration to charge the border tax on the American companies that import their products manufactured outside the U.S. As with the U.S. debt level, corporate America has the highest productivity in the world so that USD has a long-term rising tendency. In order to keep USD not to be too high, you have either another 1985 Plaza Accord that forces other central banks to buy the US treasuries. Or you raise the debt level and then to let the Fed to monetize the debt. You need to stand at Trump's level in order to understand the overall impact of the tax cuts. The tax cut is not only a math game.
14 回复 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 06:40
在崩溃之前,资本作最后的疯狂,巧取豪夺。
11 回复 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 06:47
SecondThought: You may need to reverse your logic: How much further will the average Americans continue to bleed if the corporate tax rate stays at 36%. Very few Ame
'上富若水'。
12 回复 SecondThought 2017-5-2 08:34
舌尖上的世界: '上富若水'。
If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for avoiding the 36% is that they do as much business as possible outside the U.S. There was a Bloomberg report in 2015 to suggest that several largest companies, Apple, Google and Microsoft, could pay off the entire Greek national debts, if combined their bank accounts overseas. As a payback, the Greek government gave them a multi-decade tax free status so that the largest American corporations could move their European headquarters to Athens. Even with such an arrangement, the tax saving could still be significant as compared with paying the 36% tax. $2 to $3 trillion dollar of profits of the American companies is parking outside the country, just because of the 36% tax. This amount of money could translate into a huge number of jobs if those operations stayed in U.S. and the oversea profits flew back to the home.
12 回复 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 08:47
SecondThought: If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for
Bankrupting Greece is a perfect example.     In a game of racing to the bottom, they are way ahead!
10 回复 wjbf 2017-5-2 08:50
SecondThought: If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for
check out my view on corp tax situation below
http://www.wujibifan.org/2016/08/i.html
I'm not in favor of this heavily rigged system that favors big companies. but let's not mix corp tax issue vs personal income tax issue.
10 回复 SecondThought 2017-5-2 09:38
wjbf: check out my view on corp tax situation below
http://www.wujibifan.org/2016/08/i.html
I'm not in favor of this heavily rigged system that favors big c
I read your writing again. It seems to me that you were suggesting that the very wealth people, but not those "upper middles", should carry heavier tax burden, in the percentage term. The problem is that the reason that those people became so wealthy is that they do not have very much incomes, as compared with their sizes of the assets. Their most wealth is in their businesses and they do not pay the tax on the businesses until they cash out of the shares. For example, Warren Buffett said that his tax rate was lower than his secretary's. You have to use the communism way with them. The problem is that there will be no more eggs after the hen is killed.
12 回复 wjbf 2017-5-2 09:53
SecondThought: I read your writing again. It seems to me that you were suggesting that the very wealth people, but not those "upper middles", should carry
why "have to use the communism way"? if Washington has the will, it's easy to do it under current system, have higher tax rate for capital gain and dividend for super high income, for example, that'd fix Buffet's problem. Don't remove "death" tax. There are many ways to do it, and do it within the current political structure.

As a matter of fact, I never understand why capital gain is so honorable to enjoy lower tax rate. Why it's more honorable than labors' wages? Your hard work earned money should be taxed more?
10 回复 SecondThought 2017-5-2 10:05
wjbf: why "have to use the communism way"? if Washington has the will, it's easy to do it under current system, have higher tax rate for capital g
Your hard-earned income should be taxed at higher rate than the capital gain and the dividend. Excuse me for assuming that you are a salaried employee. The business investment creates jobs. Those jobs pay the salaries. As I said before, capital is a scare resource that is flowing to the lowest taxed jurisdictions. People with the capital has the leverage. If you were one of them and the American government taxes you 50% on the capital gain and the dividend, you pack up and leave. There are many countries that welcome your money.
12 回复 wjbf 2017-5-2 10:50
SecondThought: Your hard-earned income should be taxed at higher rate than the capital gain and the dividend. Excuse me for assuming that you are a salaried employee
haha, you just repeat the orthodox answer. I urge you to question the orthodox answer. when US stock gains the most, you really think higher tax rate will scare people away? In today's economy, lack of capital is hardly a problem, lack of consumption is a real problem. from boosting economic growth perspective, one can argue that money spent in consumption should be more honorable.
12 回复 SecondThought 2017-5-2 20:58
wjbf: haha, you just repeat the orthodox answer. I urge you to question the orthodox answer. when US stock gains the most, you really think higher tax rate
Your can compare the S&P with the Euro STOXX 600 over last several decades. The S&P has been performing way better than the STOXX. What is the reason? European countries have much more socialism than America. As the result, their productivities have been significantly lower. The prosperity is created by capital investing but not by the taxing. The most important reasons that the US stocks are doing so well these days are the tax cuts and deregulations. Stocks discount into future although the tax cuts and the deregulations take time to impact the corporate earnings. Your consumption power is from the working income. Using the private business as an example, the income or the job did not even exist if the owner did not take the risk to create the business. Where does the consumption power come from, from the tax? People who take the risk deserve better tax treatment. Yes, you work hard. Some people not only work harder than you but also take the risk. Then the business fails, the investments are wiped out. Even with the favored tax treatment, a lot of people still do not want to take the risk. Trillions of dollar are still in the term deposit, MMF and safe bonds.
14 回复 rfw1972 2017-5-3 21:01
取消遗产税,劫富济贫???

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