One of America's leading authorities on technology and telecom policy, Motley is a writer, television and radio commentator, political and policy strategist, lecturer, debater, activist, and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.
Latest posts by Seton Motley (see all)
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It’s Tax Day in America. Which brings to mind one of the late, great Ronald Reagan’s many great lines:
“Republicans believe every day is the Fourth of July, but the Democrats believe every day is April 15.”
And of course Reagan was right. Taxes damage individuals, families and economies every single day of the year – not just on Collection Day.
Taxes are about the government taking your coin.
Pro-government folks view taxes like Jello – there’s always room for more.
Taxes are also the government wanting less of the taxed activity. Even the most virulent pro-taxers admit it – sometimes.
So if you want less income – tax it.
If you want less investment:
If you want less employers offering health insurance:
Think the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was about a whole lot more government control than just the massive health care power grab?
So if you want more global free trade – you absolutely should tax it less.
A hefty 38.5 per cent Japanese tariff that currently applies on frozen beef will be halved to 19.5 per cent over 18 years, with deep cuts in the first year.
Less taxes on something means more of that something? You bet.
The chairman of the Australian beef industry’s free trade taskforce, Lachie Hart, says the deal will be worth $5.5 billion to the industry over 20 years.
And they’re thinking much, much bigger.
There are also significant advantages for other agricultural products, with fruit and vegetables, seafood, sugar and wine among the winners.
Japanese exporters will see Australian tariffs lowered on electronics, whitegoods and cars….
Australian consumers will see prices lowered as a result.
Japanese consumers too. The less taxes the providers have to pay, the less their customers will have to pay.
Under the deal, Japanese-made cars will be, on average, $1,500 cheaper.
Less taxes is good – no taxes is better.
The duty-free quota for cheese – Australia’s single largest dairy export to Japan – will be boosted from 27,000 tonnes per year to 47,000 tonnes annually.
Unfortunately, not all global trade is trending quite so freely. In fact, sometimes the tariffs are so thick and impacted, they make your teeth hurt.
This isn’t unilateral – imposed in a vacuum. This is one of the globe’s bigger games of tit-for-tat. We manipulate our sugar market – in ways well beyond just taxes. So other producers do too.
(W)e have Brazil dumping money into the sugar industry in a million different directions. India uber-subsidizing production. China gaming the system – stockpiling product, then shifting to direct payments. And Thailand providing multi-billion dollar price supports….
And these are just some of the myriad ways these nations – and many others – are directly and indirectly manipulating the global market. None of this has anything to do with a free exchange of goods.
These huge barriers to the global free trade of sugar – and many, many other goods – make trade scarcer, and consumer prices much higher.
We should all instead emulate the freer trading ways of the likes of Australia and Japan.
If we want more cheap stuff – governments must tax it less. If we want an abundance of cheap stuff – don’t tax it at all.