Advancing a Free Society

Robin Hood Can’t Lead Us Out of the Debt Hole

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The impasse over the debt ceiling has our federal government on the verge of default, according to President Obama. Yet one obstacle to reaching a sound agreement on fiscal policy is Mr. Obama's recurring Robin Hood obsession. No matter what is at stake in terms of fiscal stability, economic growth and even unemployment, he always returns to his desire to take more from our nation's famously odious millionaires and billionaires.

Frankly, raising marginal tax rates on the highest-income earners is not helpful for creating a meaningful economic recovery.

Our present fiscal situation grew out of the events of the past three years. In the wake of the financial turmoil of 2008, massive bailouts by the U.S. and other countries were unfortunate but necessary. The depression threat was too serious to allow the collapse of systemically important institutions. Allowing Lehman Brothers to fail was an error. And it was a lesson quickly learned by the government, which did not let it happen to AIG, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and other large financial institutions.

Continue reading Robert Barro’s Wall Street Journal op-ed…