If insurance companies can become S&Ls and cities can do it, why not people? Longtime conservative activist Grover Norquest has applied for the TARP — all $700 billion of it! As for the billions that have already been doled out, Norquist requests that the government use its coercive power — the FBI and so on — to get it back, before distributing it to him. What are his plans for the money? Duh, tax cuts. Specifically:
- Cutting the corporate income tax rate from 35% to 15%. Estimated cost: $170 billion.
- Eliminate capital gains and dividend tax. Estimated cost: $35 billion.
- Cut the top marginal rate from 35% to 15%. Estimated cost: $235 billion.
- End the death tax. Estimated cost: $24 billion.
- Let companies fully expense capital costs in the first year. Estimated cost: $240 billion.
So it’s a stunt, but ask yourself this: Would the market have reacted a whole heckuva lot better if this is what had been announced, as opposed to the ineffectual TARP? You might have to say yes. Can we afford $700 billion in tax cuts? Well if we can afford to print up $700 billion and award it haphazardly to rent-seeking financial institutions, there’s no reason we couldn’t have afforded this.
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