The proposed rebate of about $600 per man, woman and child is transferred to people based upon some characteristic other than work effort. In fact, if you’ve worked too hard and earned too much, you won’t get a rebate. So in some instances the rebate actually requires the absence of work effort. Now it’s true that some of the people receiving the rebate may also be workers, but working is not the reason each person receives the rebate; it’s simply because he or she is a human being. (emphasis mine) In this world of ours, those resources going to the rebate recipients don’t come from the Tooth Fairy. They have to come from workers and producers.Some people making under $75,000 a year might be working, but Laffer is skeptical (I mean, welfare recipients make at least $50,000, right?). Regardless, they are obviously not working as hard as Laffer and his economic cohorts, because then they’d clearly be making more money, because work effort correlates directly to income and everyone knows that. Duh. My dad makes well under $75,000, but clearly that is only because his sixty-plus hours a week of physical labor as an electrician are nothing compared to the tremendous work effort required to write a WSJ column …. Ahh, I suppose that’s not fair. I just looked at Laffer’s Wickipedia entry, and dude seems like he’s got a lot going on. I’m sure Laffer does work hard. Just, you know … so does my dad, and so do secretaries and reporters and nonprofit directors and retail mechandisers and mechanics and teachers and sound designers and art gallery owners and patent abstractors and cashiers and people in any number of other professions who likely do not make over $75,000. Framing the rebate as some sort of welfare handout expensed on the backs of the “workers and producers” of this country is not only bizarre in the way it cloaks snobbery in the language of marxism, it’s also just … incorrect.
Oh boy. It is one thing for people making over $75,000 to whine about not receiving a stimulus-package rebate and how it’s so unfair that poor people are getting free money and they are not. This I find marginally annoying but tolerable. They don’t need that money, sure, but most of us getting the rebate don’t really need that money, either. It is another thing entirely, though, to suggest that income is based solely on work effort and, therefore, people making over $75,000 are more deserving of a rebate that those who are not because they actually work harder, which is exactly what Arthur Laffer does in his WSJ Op-ed today.