Conservative First

June 21, 2009

Summer Reading: The End of Prosperity

I just finished reading The End of Prosperity:  How Higher Taxes Will Doom the Economy–If We Let It Happen (New York:  Threshold Editions-Simon & Schuster, 2008) by Arthur B. Laffer, Stephen Moore, and Peter J. Tanous.

If you’re interested in learning what the Laffer Curve is, how federal tax policies have influenced the American economy over the last 50 years, why California is bankrupt, and how supply-side economics is taking “the world by storm,” you should read this book.  I found the information in Chapter 9 about how socialist and nanny-state governments in Europe and Asia are cutting taxes to grow their economies particularly encouraging.  There is hope for the U.S. even if we move farther down the socialist/fascist road.

I was disappointed to discover a couple of errors in the book:

  1. The authors mistakenly attribute to conservatives (“the right”) an “infatuation with restrictionist immigration policies” (286)  Conservatives do not want to restrict legal immigration.  We simply want immigrants to demonstrate respect for our laws and follow them to enter the country.
  2. They also “argue that the fairest . . . tax system is one that imposes a low flat tax rate on everyone” (237).  A flat tax rate is not fair because some people would pay more than others, and only people making money would pay the tax.  The only truly fair tax would be a flat amount–unless we can accurately calculate how much each individual receives in government services–paid by or for every person in the country.  Of course, to be fair and low, the tax should only pay for functions the government is authorized to perform under the Constitution.  This will require a drastic decrease in government spending.

Taxes should be cut not because doing so will increase revenue but because it is the moral thing to do.  People should not be forced to pay for the government to do things that are not authorized in the Constitution.

Blog at