1993 was one of the most remarkable in the history of the American Republic, as the increase in the top marginal tax rate sent shockwaves through American society. In a sign of things to come, 1992 National League MVP Barry Bonds retired from baseball, walking away from his new contract with the San Francisco Giants. “You know,” he said at the press conference, “that $8.1 million I was going to make in 1995 looked pretty sweet when I was going to keep 67% of most of it. But when I found out it was going to be 60%–well, I just don’t think that’s any reason to play 162 games a year. Sure, I might have the chance to be the greatest player since Babe Ruth, but frankly, who cares? If it’s not maximizing my revenues, it doesn’t interest me.” Just a week later, George Steinbrenner announced he was selling the New York Yankees. “Everybody knows I’m in this for one reason: to make money. I could give a rat’s ass about winning,” said Steinbrenner. “So when the government decided to start taking a little more of my profits, I just don’t see the point.” The new owner of the team, John Galt, immediately announced plans to move the team to Dothan, Alabama. “In 10 years, New York will be a ghost town. Everybody will be flocking to the wealthy states of the Deep South, where we’re governed according to sound Republican principles.”
This was merely the beginning of the events that would devastate the American economy. Later that year, Bill Gates announced that Microsoft would be closing its doors. “I was really excited about the next billion I’d be making,” said Gates. “At least $670 million to do with as I see fit. But now that it may be $600 million–Christ, I could just find that under the sofa cushions at home.” He added, “If Washington ever becomes a state that requires deposits for soda bottles, nobody will be willing to serve as a software executive here. I mean, fishing bottles out of garbage cans for a living really lowers your tax burden.”
The boom of 2002 seemed light years away. Only Stephen Moore and the Hair Club For Growth could save the country now.