They’ve already gone Galt

THEY’VE ALREADY GONE GALT…. The argument has always been a little tough to follow, but the “going Galt” crowd has argued that raising taxes on the elite wealth-producers may compel them to give up their industries trades to spite society for “punishing” them.

Except, according to a report from Pajamas Media, the elite have already “gone Galt.”

It’s quite a creative piece, which argues that the global recession began in 2008 as a result of the “Pelosi-Obama-Reid economy,” which began failing about seven months before Obama took office. The Democratic economic agenda hadn’t been presented yet — Obama hadn’t even accepted the nomination yet — but the leadership’s “intent” sent “businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs” fleeing.

Then there’s this evidence:

March is supposed to be a big month for tax receipts from regular corporations whose years end in December. In March 2008 (go to Table 3 on page 2 at the link), $32.6 billion poured in. This year? I’m not kidding: $3.4 billion. For the fiscal year thus far, corporate income tax collections are down almost 57%. […]

It’s clear that quite a few ordinarily industrious people “went Galt” months before the tea party movement even came into existence…. Pelosi, Obama, Reid, and their party created the conditions that led to this and are primarily responsible for how bad things are.

I see. Tax receipts aren’t down because of the deep global recession; they’re down because “quite a few ordinarily industrious people ‘went Galt.'” These Galt folks didn’t even wait for tax increases — they went on strike to spite society based on proposals that haven’t even passed. They went Galt, in other words, out of a sense that they’ll eventually feel persecuted.

I’ll give Pajamas Media this much: it’s hard to argue with logic like this.

John Cole concluded, “And you know what? As stupid as that piece is, you can guarantee some wingnut will repeat it. Why? Because it has numbers in it, so it must be true. That is a veritable dissertation compared to the movement that brought us Liberal Fascism.”

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.