Increase taxes on whom?

From our good friend Henry Whistler:

America willing to pay for the government it wants?

Or maybe just realizing that talking about cutting spending without raising taxes to reduce the deficit is like talking about not paying on your car loan while refusing to take a better paying job to balance the checkbook. Grown-ups know better:

* A May 11 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that three-fifths of people favor raising taxes to reduce the deficit.
* A May 4 Quinnipiac University poll found that 69 percent of people, including 49 percent of Republicans, support raising taxes on those households making more than $250,000.
* An April 29 Gallup poll found that only 20 percent of people say the deficit must be reduced only with spending cuts; 76 percent say that taxes should play a role.
* An April 20 Washington Post/ABC News poll found that by a 2-to-1 margin people favor a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts over spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. It also found that 72 percent of people favor raising taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit and this is far and away the most popular deficit reduction measure.
* An April 18 McClatchy/Marist poll found that voters support higher taxes on the rich to reduce the deficit by a 2-to-1 margin, including 45 percent of self-identified Tea Party members.

Republicans are working hard to enforce their no-tax-increase-ever orthodoxy, but there are signs that the dam is beginning to break. On April 7, former Reagan budget director Dave Stockman said, “It is simply unrealistic to say that raising revenue isn’t part of the solution. It’s a measure of how far off the deep end Republicans have gone with this religious catechism about taxes.”

You can’t keep telling people that we’re in a budget crisis and that we have to all be adults, but BTW TAX CUTS ARE OFF THE TABLE I SAID!!!

Well, it seems that the esteemed Mr Whistler sort of ignored something, which I went ahead and highlighted by boldfacing parts of his original. It isn’t so much that people think there should be tax increases, but that a lot of people think there should be tax increases on other people.

Tax increases on themselves? Not so much. So, is “America willing to pay for the government it wants,” as Mr Whistler entitled his article, or is it that America wants other people to pay for the government it wants?

I’ve said it before: I’d be willing to support tax increases, on everybody, but only after we get spending under control. If we don’t do that first, if we let tax increases lead the way, then we’ll get exactly what we’ve always gotten before: a federal government, seeing new revenue, just spending the increased revenue — and more — rather than cutting the deficit.
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Just to get the ball rolling on Perry’s new site, I cross posted this article there.

10 Comments

  1. Pingback: Increase taxes on whom? | Bridging the Gap

  2. “In the long run, government will spend whatever the system will raise plus as much more as it can get away with.” – Milton Friedman

    that’s about right.

  3. “…we’ll get exactly what we’ve always gotten before: a federal government, seeing new revenue, just spending the increased revenue — and more — rather than cutting the deficit.”

    Just like Bush, blowing it all on tax cuts, the single largest contributor to our deficit problems today:)

    Glad you support letting them expire in their entirety. Now if only we could convince the rest of America to be as responsible…

  4. What I find a bit humorous is the polls are all over 50% for raising taxes, yet when you look at who pay Federeral taxes, it’s closer to 49%. So, it would stand the test of a little logic, that those who pay no taxes would mind if the one’s paying taxes, pay more.

    It my household, I paid taxes in the high 4 digits. My daughter paid taxes in the low 3 digits, and received a 4 digit return.

  5. You paid only in the high four digits? Must be nice! Of course, I’m sure that Hoagie is laughing at us.

    Of course, our tax bill has been going up recently, as our daughters didn’t really leave the nest permanently but were no longer income tax exemptions or tax credits.

  6. Mr Whistler wrote:

    Just like Bush, blowing it all on tax cuts, the single largest contributor to our deficit problems today:)

    Nope! The problem wasn’t the tax cuts — something he campaigned on, remember? — but that there was no spending discipline. Every responsible person I know budgets to spend what he earns, and no more; the government just spends, with no consideration as to how much is coming in.

  7. Well, it seems that the esteemed Mr Whistler sort of ignored something, which I went ahead and highlighted by boldfacing parts of his original. It isn’t so much that people think there should be tax increases, but that a lot of people think there should be tax increases on other people.

    They did not say “other people”; they said “the rich”.

    These would be the people with a greater and greater share of the national wealth, and less and less taxes over the last few decades.

  8. Who cares if he campaigned on it, even if I cut you some slack the tax cuts were half the problem. Of course I know spending was a contributor, I’ve always pointed out to you that Bush’s two unfunded wars and his unfunded Medicare Part D were huge contributors, and then you factor in the recession that concluded Bush’s eight years of deregulatory paradise, and voila, there’s your deficit explosion.

    You’d like to have us believe that we can just start chopping off big chunks of lard, but as the public is seeing, one very quickly hits major organs if tax increases are “off the table.”

    Part of tax increases is being willing to pay for costs already incurred. Yep, Bush campaigned on tax cuts, and the public elected him twice. The public, then, ought to step up and be willing to pay those bills that he incurred.

  9. These would be the people with a greater and greater share of the national wealth, and less and less taxes over the last few decades.

    It’s funny how “soak the rich” now means asking Norman Blankfein to pony up taxes to the tune of what he would be paying in 1958. The rich just received tax cuts and bailouts to the tune of hundreds of billions. Isn’t it about time we started questioning the veracity of the claim that tax cuts reflexively equal more jobs? They’ve had thirty years to make their case and TARP is the perfect demonstration of their failure.

    You’d like to have us believe that we can just start chopping off big chunks of lard, but as the public is seeing, one very quickly hits major organs if tax increases are “off the table.”

    You have to keep in mind that you’re dealing with people that think that cutting funding for NPR and Planned Parenthood will solve the budget crisis. And that’s fine if you’re General Electric or AIG and you want to keep public scrutiny out of the boardroom because there’s no better way to do so than by stoking the fires of class warfare (“I saw a homeless person with a cellphone!”). Sooner or later, though, the small government crazies start threatening the makeup of the overall economy. Just last week Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were all over the business press warning Congress that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised it’ll sink the recovery. Notice that it wasn’t the oft invoked “welfare queens driving Cadillacs”, NPR ombudsmen or Medicare layabouts that were warning Congress on CNBC and Fox News. These were the “wealth producers” (Dana’s favorite term) that were issuing dire and cautionary tales. I noticed today while reading the news that Newt Gingrich took heed.

  10. Just last week Goldman Sachs and Citigroup were all over the business press warning Congress that if the debt ceiling isn’t raised it’ll sink the recovery.

    I’m sure Dana will be eager to explain to us why they’re wrong…

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