Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award: Rush Limbaugh

The Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award is named after the Tampa Tribune sports writer. Richardson boldly predicted Brett Farve coming to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers "It's actually gonna pump some money into this economy. Especially, in the Tampa Bay economy." Farve never came and several economic stuidies have shown sport franchises have zero economic impact on the community. Tampa area residents are still paying for the construction of Raymond James Stadium.

New York Gov. David Paterson is facing a budget deficit. Paterson plans to address the problem by raising the tax rate of income earners making $500,000 to 8.97%. Naturally, this has angered part-time New York resident Rush Limbaugh.


“When I am there working I pay whatever, you know, my rate is based on income for that day in New York,” Limbaugh said. “And I try to go as little as possible. If it weren't for hurricanes down here (his regular studio in Florida), I would never go up there.

“So I'll tell you what I'm going to do,” Limbaugh continued. “I'm going to look for an alternative studio somewhere outside New York, perhaps Texas -- another no-income-tax state -- and I'm going to get the hell over there, when a hurricane starts coming our way, 'cause I told Mayor Bloomberg: I'll be the first to lead the way. “


I would be more sympathic if Limbaugh didn't own mansions in two states. Floridians are suffering from a lack of property tax relief. Limbaugh was able to save $25,000 on his property taxes. Limbaugh and other wealthy Palm Beach residents spend much of the year away from their Florida homes. For tax purposes, they are still homesteaded.

Limbaugh threw down the gauntlet. Limbaugh told the state of New York to "drop dead." He showed he really meant business by threatening to work less.


“When you raise taxes on an activity, you reduce that activity,” Limbaugh explained to his listeners. “People start doing that activity less. In this case: working. When you reduce taxes on an activity, then that activity increases. When you reduce taxes on income, people start working harder to earn more. Governor Paterson needs to cut taxes on people. He needs to spur investment. He needs to get people going and working. It's just the exact opposite. Governor Paterson is like most other liberal Democrats: zero-sum game. The economy is a pie. It never grows. Somebody gets their slice; somebody gets their slice.”


I wonder if Limbaugh knew he is reciting the Laffer Curve theory. Arthur Laffer believed less taxes would make people work more hours and bring in more tax revenue to the government. The reserse has proven to be true. The federal budget went from surplus to deficit under the Bush tax cuts. A Congressional Budget Office study found that the budget would have been balanced in 2005, if not for the Bush tax cuts. American workers are making less due to inflation and stagnant wages. George Clooney can afford to vacation with Cindy Crawford. Many Americans are forced to work more than one job.


MS. MORNIN: Okay, I'm a divorced, single [57 year-old] mother with three grown, adult children. I have one child, Robbie, who is mentally challenged, and I have two daughters.

THE PRESIDENT: Fantastic. First of all, you've got the hardest job in
America, being a single mom...

MS. MORNIN: I work three jobs and I feel like I contribute.

THE PRESIDENT: You work three jobs?

MS. MORNIN: Three jobs, yes.

THE PRESIDENT: Uniquely American, isn't it? I mean, that is fantastic that
you're doing that. (Applause.) Get any sleep? (Laughter.)

MS. MORNIN: Not much. Not much.


Bush thinks it is funny Ms. Moran has to support a special needs child by working three jobs. His economic policies hardly rewarded her hard work.

"[T]he “Laffer Curve” idea that tax cuts would actually increase revenues turned out to deserve the ridicule with which sober economists had greeted it in 1981." wrote Noble prize-winning economist James Tobin. Limbaugh citing the Laffer Curve earns him the Anwar Richardson School of Economics Award.

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