Free Markets, Free People

Quote of the day – correlation does not imply causation edition

Hillary Clinton provides our quote of the day. It’s not because she’s claiming the rich don’t pay their fair share – no Democrat will ever think the rich are paying their fair share until they’re paying 100% – and then there will still be some who say they have too many assets. No, Ms. Clinton’s quote provides us with an even more interesting look at the mind of the left:

“The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does] — whether it’s individual, corporate or whatever [form of] taxation forms,” Clinton told an audience at the Brookings Institution, where she was discussing the Administration’s new National Security Strategy.

Clinton said the comment was her personal opinion alone. “I’m not speaking for the administration, so I’ll preface that with a very clear caveat,” she said.

Clinton went on to cite Brazil as a model.

“Brazil has the highest tax-to-GDP rate in the Western Hemisphere and guess what — they’re growing like crazy,” Clinton said. “And the rich are getting richer, but they’re pulling people out of poverty.”

The premise? That Brazil is doing well exclusively because the taxes on the rich are so high. In other words, if Brazil lowered taxes on the rich, it would slow the economy. Seriously – read the quote, tell me where I’m wrong. The taxes are what are enabling this growth, per Clinton, and that means the spending by government – the “they’re” in the last sentence – is “pulling people out of poverty”, not the private economy or the rich who are “getting richer”.

If only we’d tax the rich here much more than we do, our economic woes could be over.

Who was it who called her the “smartest woman in the world?”


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17 Responses to Quote of the day – correlation does not imply causation edition

  • In all fairness, one could also interpret her statement as a refutation of Reaganomics, i.e. it’s possible to tax the hell out of “the rich” and STILL have high growth.

    • I read it that way too, as a statement that high taxation doesn’t slow growth and may actually help.  Doesn’t make it true, though, since taxation is far from the only variable in that equation and there may be others whose outrageous largeness is overwhelming the drag of high taxation in Brazil’s case, but that’s her argument.

  • The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues [America currently does]

    >>> Yet I notice the Clintons are not over-paying on their tax rates.  Comon Hillary, cut Treasury a check with your “fair” share.  I know they’d take it.

    • They advocate higher taxes.  That good intention (with your money) gives them license to seek out and employ every tax avoidance option available to them, legal or otherwise.

    • Took the words right off my keyboard.  I’m all for sacrifice when I see the witchdoctors throw THEMSELVES into the fire to appease the volcano god FIRST.
      Of course, I bet she doesn’t think she’s rich.

      • “I bet she doesn’t think she’s rich”

        Of course not; “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs”.
        She is a very needy person.

    • Also, I have yet to get an explanation of how it is “fair” for people to benefit by government, while paying nothing for it.  I mean, I KNOW all the collectivist pap…but nobody can articulate how that works out to be “fair” on any scale I recognize.  In a novel I wrote a few decades back, I suggested a “money-where-your-mouth-is tax”; you publicly advocate socialism or any redistributionist system, government takes all you have and gives back a stipend equal to “citizen of the world” earnings.  Any takers, Hilliary?  Hilliary….???

  • There is something more than meets the eye about Brazil’s situation.  I dunno what it is, but it defies reason as Hilliary stated it, so there is more.  Corruption, broad-based tax fiddling, loop-holes…something.  You don’t suspend the laws of economics any more than you do the laws of physics.

  • This doesn’t even rank as correlation.  Because that implies a certain amount of repetition or occurrence.  If two things coincide on one occurrence or even two, I think its at the level of coincidence.

  • When I studied logic in college, I learned that one of the most common flaws in logical thinking was captured in the Latin phrase: “Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.”  That phrase — which essentially means that because something follows an event, it was caused by that event — seems to capture Hillary’s lack of logic perfectly.

  • Apropos only to “Clinton” and “illogical”…
    Barack to America…”Just Swallow, Honey”

    • The Clinton’s – ahhhhhhhhhhh, feels so good to be back in the spotlight again.

  • Not to take anything from Brazil–wish they had even more growth–but when you start from an economic base that includes vast regions still firmly in the Stone Age, your economic performance as you transition to a modern economy is going to show dramatic initial growth. Nothing wrong with that; America boomed once the first ports became viable.

    But, Mrs. Clinton is still stuck in Rubinomics. Her husband raised income taxes and yet the economy surged, feeding fodder ever since to dispute supply side economics during Mr. Reagan’s terms. With some considerable justification, her interpretation of recent economic history in the U.S. supports an argument that raising taxes does not in all cases result in poorer economic performance. Wasn’t that the central message of Laffer’s Curve; it is at the margins (40%) where taxes impede economic growth. If one increases income taxes from 30% to 35%, it is still quite possible to have increased economic growth. But income taxes at anything above 40% will reduce government income because they adversely impact the economy.

    For supply siders, it is not the tax burden as a percentage of GDP that matters most, although that’s certainly important. What is vital is the burden imposed at the margins.

  • There is legitimate argument that high taxes do not necessarily lead to poor economic performance. I am not sure if that is actually true, but one can look at Germany and say that they have high taxes but do pretty well economically.
    One of the keys to that argument is the high taxes cannot be wasted. Its one thing to have high taxes, high teacher salaries, with excellent education results. (see Massachusetts, Finland.) Its another thing to have high taxes, higher teacher salaries , and poor education results (see California, New York, Greece?, Brazil?)
    At that point, the Texas model looks better. Low taxes, decent results, and good economy.
    I also have to wonder if Germany or Finland went that route, they might do even better. I am not sure teacher salary really correlates well with educational outcomes.

  • I’m sure that their off-shore oil exploration (with cash from George Soros and Obama) has nothing to do with this

  • As I said before, lefties are really rather stupid, they actually do beleive that you can tax, spend, and borrow your way to prosperity!  They really beleive that!

  • No finds it interesting that this was contained in a speech/discussion about “the Administration’s new National Security Strategy“?
    Little off subject, no?