Monday, February 23, 2009

Michelle Muccio’s Policy Suggestion

A video about a policy suggestion by Michelle Muccio has been getting a lot of airplay on the internet (and she got interviewed on the legacy media the other day).

In short, her idea is a tax holiday for FICA taxes.

The pros are that it is simple, transparent, and cheap to implement.

The cons are … well … um … you can’t make people spend the money they get to keep, and you can’t control what they spend it on. Cafe Hayek has a good quote about this:

If ordinary Americans truly are struggling to pinch pennies these days, there should be little worry, even for a Keynesian, that the extra money workers get from a suspension of their payroll taxes won't be spent.  However, if you're a politician, the ways private citizens will spend these monies are not under your control -- a fact that renders the political class terribly allergic to Michelle's plan.

I mentioned this in class on Friday: the real conflict with the stimulus package is not between Democrats and Republicans, it is between centralizers and decentralizers. The Republicans voted against the stimulus package because they are out of power. When they were in power, what they did was pretty much constantly centralize and stimulate the economy (and the Democrats were against their policies).

More broadly, I think you should recognize how problematic this is: Ms. Muccio is connected in the D.C. political scene, and yet to get anyone to talk about this as an alternative she has to promote it as a viral video. That’s twisted.

No comments:

Post a Comment