Death or Job Loss?

Patrick Gibbons

In Geoffrey Lawrence’s recent interview with Jon Ralston, Ralston asked if anti-tax critics were being ridiculous when they suggested that people might lose their jobs or businesses might fail if taxes are increased. Ralston pointed out that the tax increase was incremental. For example, a small to medium-size business may only see its payroll tax increase $1,000 to $3,000 for the year, while the average consumer will, supposedly, only be paying an extra 35 cents per every $100 he spends.

Geoff correctly pointed out that businesses operate on the margin. Profits aren’t always in double-digit percentages – rather, profits can be razor thin. For some struggling businesses, even the smallest tax increase can mean the difference between surviving and going out of business altogether. Essentially, Geoff made the case that it is not ridiculous, but highly plausible to suggest that some people may lose their job or that some businesses may go under.

Ralston didn’t seem to agree, but he did allow Mike Ginsburg of the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) to get away with the most ridiculous statement of the evening. Ginsburg, echoing Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, suggested that if taxes weren’t raised people were going to die.

Which seems more ridiculous to you?

1) Raise taxes and some people may lose their job.
2) Don’t raise taxes and some people will die.