I was told there would be no math – SKOUSEN CAFE

You Blew It!

Public Employees Don’t Pay Taxes

As a financial economist, I was amused when Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen recently claimed when he wrote online, “We’re smarter than conservatives.”

“Republicans defy basic math by arguing that you can cut deficits by throwing public employees out of work, which cuts the number of taxpayers (and hence reduces tax revenue)…,” Professor Westen asserted.

Prof. Westen may be good at math, but not accounting. The entire salary of all public employees comes from taxes; they just give some of it back in the form of withholding. His calculations include the loss of tax revenue when you end withholding of these fired public workers, but he forgets the other side of the ledger, the savings in gross taxes from not having to pay the gross salaries of these public workers. On net balance, there is considerable tax savings by laying off public workers.

I have written Prof. Westen to share my views, but have not received a reply.


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