Tax Hikes and V Number 2
Not to kick off a beautiful Tuesday with gloom, but it seems inescapable. Environmental catastrophes, lingering war, emboldened terrorist states, and shifting demographics in the West that give those terrorist states reason for optimism about the future would each be bad enough, but the economy is what brings the world’s problems to the front doors of every American. And on that topic, there appears to be an expanding feeling that recovery is not pending.
Indeed, Arthur Laffer foresees a likely scenario in which 2011 brings a second dip to the Great Recession:
Now, if people know tax rates will be higher next year than they are this year, what will those people do this year? They will shift production and income out of next year into this year to the extent possible. As a result, income this year has already been inflated above where it otherwise should be and next year, 2011, income will be lower than it otherwise should be.
Also, the prospect of rising prices, higher interest rates and more regulations next year will further entice demand and supply to be shifted from 2011 into 2010. In my view, this shift of income and demand is a major reason that the economy in 2010 has appeared as strong as it has. When we pass the tax boundary of Jan. 1, 2011, my best guess is that the train goes off the tracks and we get our worst nightmare of a severe “double dip” recession.
I hope he’s wrong. Given everything else going on in the world, an economically depressed, socially dispirited United States will be an ineffective beacon during the dark days ahead.