Controversial UNC law professor Gene Nichol is long on name-calling and moralizing, but short on substance, actual compassion and economic knowledge.
The latest example is this News and Observer piece in which Nichol strings together another unhinged rant equal parts childish insults and thoughtless parroting of worn out and ignorant platitudes.
His article on tax cuts begins, as do most of Nichol’s diatribes, with accusations of racism; mockingly saying ” If wealthy folks want more money, you have to put up with a little revitalized bigotry. It’s a complex world.”
Nichol’s accusations of racism serve as a substitute for an argument, meant to bully and intimidate opponents and conceal his own intellectual impotence.
He proceeds to point out that “over 21% of North Carolina’s children live in poverty.” Surely, someone as concerned about childhood poverty as Nichol would be at least mildly interested in some underlying causes of poverty, right?
For instance, the fact that families are five times more likely to be in poverty if there is no father in the home, might warrant mention by Mr. Nichol. But of course it doesn’t, because he is more interested in advancing his narrative than actually helping the poor.
Nichol then cites data saying that the wealthiest North Carolinians saved more dollars courtesy of recent income tax cuts relative to lower-income households.
Someone paying tens or hundreds of thousands in taxes will of course save more in dollar terms from an across-the-board tax cut than someone already paying close to zero income taxes.
He also criticizes corporate tax cuts as merely benefiting mostly “wealthy out of state folks,” with no evidence.
In sum, Nichol claims the tax cuts “aren’t aimed at most Tar Heels.” Here’s where his economic ignorance comes in.
The true impact of tax cuts are traced not just to who is legally obliged to pay the tax bill, but we must follow how those being taxed will change their behavior, and what impact that changed behavior has on others.
For instance, the overwhelming majority of benefits for corporate tax cuts goes to workers in the form of higher compensation. Moreover, lower income taxes encourage more economic activity, especially among smaller businesses who pay under the personal income tax code. Soaking “the rich” will prompt many of them to leave, and take their spending and investment with them. How does that help poor North Carolinians?
Gene Nichol doesn’t care about poor people. He is a race-baiting huckster who has gotten rich off the taxpayer’s dime by spreading division and animosity. He claims to care about income inequality, but his household rakes in more than $600,000 annually while he rants about inequality from his million-dollar Chapel Hill home when he’s not vacationing in his half-million dollar beach house on Emerald Isle.
Nichol also attended private school, but wants to deny poor North Carolina children the same opportunity he had.
Nobody should take anything this man says seriously.