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美國稅改再度顯示民智的局限性

作者:wjbf  於 2017-5-1 23:12 發表於 最熱鬧的華人社交網路--貝殼村

作者分類:財經萬花筒|通用分類:熱點雜談|已有18評論

關鍵詞:局限性, 美國

特朗普最近推出稅改提綱,開始落實他大選時期的競選口號。提綱細化成實際稅改方案還有很長的路,但特朗普稅改提綱清晰勾畫了這屆政府的稅改思路。稅改提綱由財政部長Steven Mnuchin和白宮顧問Gary Cohn公布,值得一提的是,兩位大員均是頂級投行高盛的前僱員。高盛對政府的無形之手常被詬病,希拉里以前受邀在高盛發表小圈子演講也被炒成她的競選污點,如今高盛門徒主持美國歷史上最大稅改,也是一出政治滑稽劇。

正如所有政治大戲,特朗普的稅改用盡了老百姓愛聽的辭彙,比如簡化稅法,初中生也可以自己報稅啊;減低稅率,你能少交錢,等等。同時,特朗普還宣稱,稅改是為了美國利益,不是給富人好處。通過取締各種避稅手段,富人可能還要多交稅。特朗普政府這麼為民請命,你能不傾力支持嗎?不過只要稍微仔細一點兒,就會發現,15%的企業稅惠及所謂的 Pass Throuh 就是給富人送大禮,特朗普自己的房地產生意就是最大受惠者之一。特朗普還要取締遺產稅,也是給富人送大禮,小布希當年都沒能真正做到。

在一個民主治國,法制健全的國度,個人財富受到尊重和保護,仇富對社會無疑是有害的。美國給勤奮努力提供了豐富的機會,讓美國夢十分誘人。但美國社會自八十年代開始貧富分化持續加劇,日益成為嚴重社會問題。美國工資收入增長長期落後於經濟增長,造成消費增長不足,日益拖累經濟增長。更多討論見《美國經濟增長未讓大部分人受益》。在此社會背景下,稅改究竟誰最受益即使個經濟問題,也是個政治問題。政策得當與否關係到美國未來,因此政策辯論要注重事實,而不是政治口號。但一個讓富人受惠的稅改被標榜成為中產謀福利,再次反映了華盛頓政客的虛偽和無恥。

為什麼政客的欺騙可以大行其道?《釣愚:操縱與欺騙的經濟學( Phishing for Phools)》一書對此有深入分析。筆者強烈推薦這本書,它能幫你擦亮眼睛,看穿日常生活中商人推銷術的把戲,還能幫助分辨政客的忽悠。在減稅這個議題上至少有兩個讓民眾極易上當的誤區。

一個誤區是大家都減稅是不是好事,很多人都會覺得是好事,人人受益,何樂而不為也。其實這不是好事,因為這會增加財政赤字。美國政府債務已經超過GDP,債務之嚴重到了關乎國家安全的程度。任何大幅加劇債務的政策都是十分危險和不負責任的。這個常識被很多人接受,對政客是個束縛。為此,政客發明了小小騙術,稱減稅可以刺激經濟,未來的高增長可以自動填平現在挖的坑,而且還會收支盈餘。歷史多次證明,這種理論往往以失敗告終,結果是政府在債務泥潭越陷越深。但這些危險不是三言兩語能說明白的,政客的推銷術加上對未來的樂觀讓民眾難辨真偽。

其次,即使大家都減稅了,還要看誰減的多,誰減的少。常言道,天上不會掉餡餅。洋人諺語是世界上沒有免費午餐。如果中產減稅5%,富人減稅10%,中產不是賺了,而是賠了。這個聽起來不合情理,減了5%比不減好,不是嗎?問題是大家分大餅,大餅當然可以做大,但大餅做大的速度,也就是經濟增長速度,是很難提高的。在大餅基本不變的前提下,中產減稅5%當然輸給富人減稅10%!

眾議院領袖 Paul Ryan 在CBS 60分鐘訪談錄中被問及減稅是否過多惠及富人,Ryan 完全迴避這個問題,被追問后,他稱這個問題就是錯的,富人錢多了就會投資發展經濟,最後大家都受惠。Ryan 的回答是經典的政客騙術。美國經濟增長的瓶頸不是缺乏資金,企業有錢無處用,天天忙著買自家股票,這就是最好的證明。美國經濟增長的瓶頸是消費增長不足,而消費增長不足則是緣於工資增長長期落後於經濟增長。這些 Ryan 是不會告訴你的。

最後,政客還喜歡混淆富人這個概念,把二三十萬收入也當成富人,把他們的減稅程度和幾萬收入的人群比較,以便證明中低收入減稅受益更大。事實上在高消費地區,二三十萬的家庭收入也就是小康而已。這個族群其實最累,不僅要存錢養老,還有交付子女的高昂學費,沒有任何社會福利。即使四五十萬的收入,也並太不富裕。但為了政治需要,這個族群常常成為最大犧牲品。

銹帶窮人不滿被美國經濟拋棄,推選局外人特朗普,但特朗普稅改會讓貧富差距和社會階層更加固化,民智的局限性再次昭顯,銹帶窮人只能認栽了。

作者:藿香子
時間:2017年4月30日
(版權所有,歡迎轉載,請註明出處) 

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發表評論 評論 (18 個評論)

回復 徐福男兒 2017-5-1 23:42
民眾太容易被忽悠了。
回復 tanjiang10 2017-5-2 00:11
   中產有可能交更多稅,富人肯定會減很多的稅。這就是它的稅改真正目的。
回復 qxw66 2017-5-2 01:33
大嘴監守自盜,夠無恥的
回復 tutu0077 2017-5-2 01:45
呵呵 希拉里支持者都一個德性 跟自己意見相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民眾當弱智的人最終也只是智障不自知而已
回復 wjbf 2017-5-2 04:56
tutu0077: 呵呵 希拉里支持者都一個德性 跟自己意見相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民眾當弱智的人最終也只是智障不自知而已
先入為主,假設我是「希拉里支持者「,你是不是也很」智障「?
回復 wjbf 2017-5-2 05:04
tutu0077: 呵呵 希拉里支持者都一個德性 跟自己意見相同的就是精英 不同的就是弱智 把民眾當弱智的人最終也只是智障不自知而已
建議你讀讀《釣愚:操縱與欺騙的經濟學( Phishing for Phools)》,有助了解人性弱點是如何被商人和政客反覆利用的。
回復 SecondThought 2017-5-2 06:09
You may need to reverse your logic: How much further will the average Americans continue to bleed if the corporate tax rate stays at 36%. Very few American corporations pay the 36% on the tax. With such a high rate, they move their operations into other countries, which results the continuous job loss in U.S. You charge the riches the death tax, they can cease to be American citizens. One of the Facebook founders, gave up the American citizenship before he realized a large portion of the FB holding. Capital is a scare resource and has no border. If U.S. does not treat its rich citizens well, other countries will welcome them. 15% corporate tax will keep the U.S. operations, attract the foreign capital, and also give Trump administration to charge the border tax on the American companies that import their products manufactured outside the U.S. As with the U.S. debt level, corporate America has the highest productivity in the world so that USD has a long-term rising tendency. In order to keep USD not to be too high, you have either another 1985 Plaza Accord that forces other central banks to buy the US treasuries. Or you raise the debt level and then to let the Fed to monetize the debt. You need to stand at Trump's level in order to understand the overall impact of the tax cuts. The tax cut is not only a math game.
回復 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 06:40
在崩潰之前,資本作最後的瘋狂,巧取豪奪。
回復 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 06:47
SecondThought: You may need to reverse your logic: How much further will the average Americans continue to bleed if the corporate tax rate stays at 36%. Very few Ame
'上富若水'。
回復 SecondThought 2017-5-2 08:34
舌尖上的世界: '上富若水'。
If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for avoiding the 36% is that they do as much business as possible outside the U.S. There was a Bloomberg report in 2015 to suggest that several largest companies, Apple, Google and Microsoft, could pay off the entire Greek national debts, if combined their bank accounts overseas. As a payback, the Greek government gave them a multi-decade tax free status so that the largest American corporations could move their European headquarters to Athens. Even with such an arrangement, the tax saving could still be significant as compared with paying the 36% tax. $2 to $3 trillion dollar of profits of the American companies is parking outside the country, just because of the 36% tax. This amount of money could translate into a huge number of jobs if those operations stayed in U.S. and the oversea profits flew back to the home.
回復 舌尖上的世界 2017-5-2 08:47
SecondThought: If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for
Bankrupting Greece is a perfect example.     In a game of racing to the bottom, they are way ahead!
回復 wjbf 2017-5-2 08:50
SecondThought: If "very few" is concerned about the job loss, Donald Trump could never be elected. One of the tactics that the large American companies for
check out my view on corp tax situation below
http://www.wujibifan.org/2016/08/i.html
I'm not in favor of this heavily rigged system that favors big companies. but let's not mix corp tax issue vs personal income tax issue.
回復 SecondThought 2017-5-2 09:38
wjbf: check out my view on corp tax situation below
http://www.wujibifan.org/2016/08/i.html
I'm not in favor of this heavily rigged system that favors big c
I read your writing again. It seems to me that you were suggesting that the very wealth people, but not those "upper middles", should carry heavier tax burden, in the percentage term. The problem is that the reason that those people became so wealthy is that they do not have very much incomes, as compared with their sizes of the assets. Their most wealth is in their businesses and they do not pay the tax on the businesses until they cash out of the shares. For example, Warren Buffett said that his tax rate was lower than his secretary's. You have to use the communism way with them. The problem is that there will be no more eggs after the hen is killed.
回復 wjbf 2017-5-2 09:53
SecondThought: I read your writing again. It seems to me that you were suggesting that the very wealth people, but not those "upper middles", should carry
why "have to use the communism way"? if Washington has the will, it's easy to do it under current system, have higher tax rate for capital gain and dividend for super high income, for example, that'd fix Buffet's problem. Don't remove "death" tax. There are many ways to do it, and do it within the current political structure.

As a matter of fact, I never understand why capital gain is so honorable to enjoy lower tax rate. Why it's more honorable than labors' wages? Your hard work earned money should be taxed more?
回復 SecondThought 2017-5-2 10:05
wjbf: why "have to use the communism way"? if Washington has the will, it's easy to do it under current system, have higher tax rate for capital g
Your hard-earned income should be taxed at higher rate than the capital gain and the dividend. Excuse me for assuming that you are a salaried employee. The business investment creates jobs. Those jobs pay the salaries. As I said before, capital is a scare resource that is flowing to the lowest taxed jurisdictions. People with the capital has the leverage. If you were one of them and the American government taxes you 50% on the capital gain and the dividend, you pack up and leave. There are many countries that welcome your money.
回復 wjbf 2017-5-2 10:50
SecondThought: Your hard-earned income should be taxed at higher rate than the capital gain and the dividend. Excuse me for assuming that you are a salaried employee
haha, you just repeat the orthodox answer. I urge you to question the orthodox answer. when US stock gains the most, you really think higher tax rate will scare people away? In today's economy, lack of capital is hardly a problem, lack of consumption is a real problem. from boosting economic growth perspective, one can argue that money spent in consumption should be more honorable.
回復 SecondThought 2017-5-2 20:58
wjbf: haha, you just repeat the orthodox answer. I urge you to question the orthodox answer. when US stock gains the most, you really think higher tax rate
Your can compare the S&P with the Euro STOXX 600 over last several decades. The S&P has been performing way better than the STOXX. What is the reason? European countries have much more socialism than America. As the result, their productivities have been significantly lower. The prosperity is created by capital investing but not by the taxing. The most important reasons that the US stocks are doing so well these days are the tax cuts and deregulations. Stocks discount into future although the tax cuts and the deregulations take time to impact the corporate earnings. Your consumption power is from the working income. Using the private business as an example, the income or the job did not even exist if the owner did not take the risk to create the business. Where does the consumption power come from, from the tax? People who take the risk deserve better tax treatment. Yes, you work hard. Some people not only work harder than you but also take the risk. Then the business fails, the investments are wiped out. Even with the favored tax treatment, a lot of people still do not want to take the risk. Trillions of dollar are still in the term deposit, MMF and safe bonds.
回復 rfw1972 2017-5-3 21:01
取消遺產稅,劫富濟貧???

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