Dave Power on The Current's "Junk Economics"

Here's an outstanding piece on DC taxes:


The Current Wednesday, June 6, 2012  page 11   Letters to the Editor

by David F. Power Forest Hills

Current’s analyses use ‘junk economics’


"The Current often publishes groundless suggestions that D.C. should not raise more income tax revenue or that raising tax rates on the wealthy would reduce revenues. Recently, The Current claimed that retirees have an “incentive” to change their legal residence to avoid taxation, based solely on an anecdote from an anonymous retiree [“Top officials talk retiree taxes, possible incentives for Georgetown store,” May 30].


The Current argues that raising income taxes on the wealthy or taxing retirement income would either harm D.C.’s economy or cause residents to migrate away from D.C. Both are myths. The Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy rightly calls the myths fomented by The Current, D.C.’s business community and members of the D.C. Council (such as Jack Evans) “junk economics.” The institute concluded, “There is no reason for states to expect that reducing or repealing their income taxes will improve the performance of their economies.” It showed that from 2001 to 2010, six of nine “high rate” states had growth in real per capita gross state product that far exceeded the average of all states. Maryland was a leading example, with real per capita gross state product growth of 12.6 percent.  Your readers probably do not know that D.C.’s rate of real per capita gross domestic product growth over a very similar period (2000 to 2010) was more than 25 percent, double the growth rate of Maryland, and fourth highest in the nation over that period. The Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts recently published an extensive survey of economic literature concluding, based on years of empirical research published in peer-reviewed journals, that if taxes are raised, “The rich will not go on strike. They will not cease working, stop investing, or even move … .” The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that experts have found that raising taxes on high-income households does not harm economic growth.


Thus, the D.C. Council and the mayor have no excuses for pretending to “fund” chronic safety net needs by eliminating vacancies, or selling city-owned buildings, or vastly expanding speed-enforcement cameras, or extending bar hours, or undertaking any other short-term, unsustainable gimmicks. There is no excuse for cutting investment in affordable housing, or cutting employment training for needy families, or cutting homeless shelters, or cutting services for homeless families.


D.C. must raise more revenues from the wealthy so it can increase its employment rolls, inject more money into the local economy, fund economic security programs, fund long-term growth of affordable housing, and put residents to work immediately to rebuild D.C.’s infrastructure.  Please stop using junkeconomics in your newspapers."

Resource Websites


DC Fair Budget Coalition http://www.fairbudget.org/


DC Fiscal Policy Institute http://www.dcfpi.org/


DC for Democracy http://www.dcfordemocracy.org/


DC Jobs with Justice http://www.dcjwj.org/


DC Public Banking Center http://dcpublicbanking.org/


DC Statehood Green Party 



Citizens for Tax Justice



Empower DC http://empowerdc.org/


Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy



ONE DC http://www.onedconline.org/



 Email:  dschwartzman@gmail.com 

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