Sen. Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, was on David Letterman last night, talking about wearing jeans on TV, being mentored by Al Franken, the difference between Tea Party and the GOP, the dangers of government debt, shrinking the public sector and growing the private sector, whether tax cuts hurt the middle class, and whether we can solve our public problems by taxing the rich.
Thomas Woods on where Sen. Paul is right and the talk show host and his audience are wrong. Some examples:
Rand correctly noted that the top 1% of income tax earners pay one-third of all the income taxes, with the top 50% paying 96%. So the "rich" are already paying plenty. Letterman's response? There must be something wrong with those numbers, he said to applause from the audience. So the audience is in effect saying, "We also refuse to believe those numbers!" But those numbers are correct….
Rand explains, again correctly, that spending more money on education has not improved educational outcomes. Letterman's response? Well, education is important, so we've got to try something—how about spending more money? But by the time of George W. Bush's term, per-pupil spending, adjusted for inflation, had already doubled since LBJ….
Letterman wonders why we can't just loot the "rich" some more. Well, if we'd like to make still more firms leave the U.S., that'd be a good start. Want to strangle the growth on which everyone's welfare depends? By all means pursue this strategy….
Rand points out, correctly, that the compensation package for Wisconsin teachers is extremely attractive, amounting to over $80K annually. Letterman, to general applause, says that figure should be doubled. Isn't education important? This is the level of reasoning people appear comfortable with. On Big Rock Candy Mountain there's a giant pile of cash overlooked by the governor and the rest of us. Don't worry that the pension systems are going to bankrupt the states—that's nothing a doubling of teacher salaries won't solve.
Here's the video: