Capitalist David Pakman vs. Comrade David Pakman
One of the first political questions I like to ask people is, “How much of your income should you have to pay in taxes?”
A common answer I get from even those who’d consider themselves “progressive” is about 30% and that’s exactly how David Pakman (1.7M YouTube subscribers) responded…
I don’t like that close to half of my income is going to taxes. I think it’s too high. I’d love to be in for 31% total.
First, consider that David Pakman is in the top 1% of earners so for the top 1% to go from paying about 50% in total taxes to 31% would be about a 35% tax cut.
To put that into perspective, progressives freaked out when Trump reduced the top marginal federal income tax rate from 39.6% to 37% even though it’s just one type of tax at one level of government that will expire in 2026.
And then when you consider that David Pakman supports an even more progressive income tax than our already arguably most progressive income tax in the world means he’d support at least a 35% tax cut for virtually everyone else too.
So in order to make his tax cut balance, David Pakman would have to cut total government spending by about 13% of GDP (35% cut x 37% GDP = 13%; FYI this is simply to balance his proposal and doesn’t address our existing deficit/debt)…
If Pakman was logically consistent then one would expect to find on his channel video after video of him suggesting programs to abolish and cut, but instead in video after video he advocates for adding and expanding programs.
For example, he wants to increase spending on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, housing assistance, infrastructure, climate change, paid family leave, etc.
The only program I’ve ever heard him say he wants to cut is defense, although he wants to increase Ukrainian aid so when push comes to shove I wonder how much he actually wants to cut, but let’s say for argument’s sake he’d cut defense by 50%. That’d still only cover about 1.5% of the 13% cut.
We could also grow our way out of some of the hole. The Trump tax cuts are estimated to have increased growth by about 1%, but even supply-side economists would acknowledge that the idea, “tax cuts pay for themselves” has its limits so let’s say economic growth could cover another 6.5%, which would still make him down 5%.
Pakman would even argue I’m overestimating the growth from his tax cut because he’s said in the past, “tax cuts for the rich aren’t particularly stimulative for the economy.”
In the end, Pakman is like so many voters: he wants lower taxes and more spending. I can expect this contradiction from a political layman or a campaigning politician, but for one of the Left’s most successful influencers to suggest this demonstrates in my opinion the bad faith nature in which so many on the Left engage in policy.
I believe government taxation/spending should at most be 30% of GDP, but in video after video I explain how I’d cut virtually everything, except Social Security.
In the interview, Pakman goes on to say he’d support paying more than 31% in total taxes if we also made college and healthcare “free” therefore comfortably putting him back on the Left, but then I wonder as Patrick Bet-David does why Pakman would support giving the federal government even more monopolistic control over such crucial areas when by Pakman’s own estimation it has been so inefficient with what it has already been tasked with…
Patrick: If the U.S. government had a FICO score it’d be in the low 400s. It should be able to finance nothing!
Pakman: So you said you were with me on like low 30s for taxes, right?
Patrick: I am, yeah.
I think before Pakman encourages the federal government to impose even more policies via the barrel of a gun that can’t even pass in California, he should disavow the Demogarchy Party until the federal government is more effective with the unprecedented resources already at its disposal.
Or to put it in terms Pac-Man could understand… let’s get our fiscal house in order before we’re eaten by our ghosts.