George W. Bush: Donkey Enemy
18 Mar 2009 15:57 Filed in: Tax Stat Analysis
The Tired Donkey knows that most of his readers consider themselves to be conservatives, whatever that term might mean today. The Tired Donkey himself—as he has pointed out elsewhere—is a Libertarian and loathes the Democrats and Republicans with equal vigor. The Tired Donkey is not happy about this. He would like to have one of the major parties put forward a presidential candidate he could vote for. But that hasn’t happened since the Cold War ended. This is not because the Tired Donkey is picky, it is because he simply will not cast a vote for a Myrmidon Donkey, a term that includes virtually every Democrat and Republican who runs for national office. And George W. Bush was among the worst. The Tired Donkey does not say this to anger his readers. He values his readers. But he wants them to be armed with the truth. So let’s take a look at the truth.
A good measure of progressivity takes the tax share of a given income group and divides that by the same group’s income share (see here for a more complete explanation). Using this system, a flat tax would arrive a ratio of 1 for any given income group because that group’s income share would exactly equal its tax share. For instance, a group that earned 15% of all income would pay 15% of all taxes. Ratio’s of less than 1 for an income group indicate that they pay less in taxes than their income share; ratios of greater than 1 indicate the group pays a higher percentage of taxes than their income share. Examining the first five years of the Bush administration using this measure, the ratio got worse for every group earning more than $200,000 and better for every group earning less. And these numbers do not even take into account the redistributionist zeal of the Bush administration as evidenced by the Medicare Part D horror. Donkey friend? Not hardly.
But, you may validly ask the Tired Donkey, the Bush administration cut our taxes; what about that? Please. The Tired Donkey is no fool. Despite what you may believe, the numbers here speak for themselves: in inflation-adjusted dollars, the federal government collected more taxes from us in 2007 than any government has ever collected from its people in the history of the world. As the Cato Institute concludes in its brief explication of this fact, “George W. Bush will go down in history as the biggest taxer and the biggest spender ever.” The Tired Donkey urges you to consider this next time you find yourself tempted to believe that one of the major parties has any conception of fairness. They don’t. In fact, as a lion is to a gazelle, so is a federal politician to a donkey; their DNA compels them to attack and then feed until there is nothing left but a stripped carcass.