Reason Mag: We Don’t Have a Tax/Revenue Problem, We Have a Spending Problem

8 Apr

While such arguments aren’t going to get anyone elected except in the most conservative districts, they should not be throw out with the bath water.  I’ve argued that realistically speaking, slight increases in taxes (but not in the form of explicit “rich” taxes) are not only politically possible, but not terribly punitive in the grand scheme of things.  In vacuo, I’d never argue for increased taxes, quite the contrary, I support spending cuts, but there’s really no way either party is going to risk the next election by pushing the spending-cuts agenda.  After all, why do today what you can put off until tomorrow (Congressional motto, methinks)?


3 Responses to “Reason Mag: We Don’t Have a Tax/Revenue Problem, We Have a Spending Problem”

  1. kduck April 8, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    seems to me that the republicans / tea party just won an election on a spending cuts agenda (whether it was in good faith and voters actually understood the implications of keeping government hands off their medicare is an open issue).

    if you think broad tax increases are more of a winning political platform than spending cuts you are hilarious – although i agree it is better policy.

    • The Analyst April 8, 2011 at 5:32 pm #

      The Republicans did that because the Dems had so fantastically squandered their majority, otherwise such approach wouldn’t have been nearly so successful.

      I never said tax increases are a better policy, in fact I said the opposite…

  2. Patty Chapman April 16, 2011 at 11:44 am #

    The U.S. does in fact have a revenue problem. Taxes were lowered on the wealthy in 2001 because we had a projected budget surplus- why not give it back reasoning. Now that we have had 2 wars, a giant economic meltdown, and corporations taking their headquarters off shore to avoid paying taxes we to be responsible citizens and we NEED to advocate for our tax revenue to go back up.

    It wouldn’t hurt millionaires and billionaires to pay fair estate and income taxes. Raising capital gains taxes to 25% temporarily would be a good start. Also Wall Street speculative transactions, which led to the economic meltdown and high gas prices, could easily be taxed at something like .05% per transaction to produce billions if not trillions to offset the lack of government revenue. I believe raising taxes is not only humane but also a no-brainer. Many people are going to suffer terribly and even die with the proposed budget cuts. Government was established to “promote the general welfare” not provide for a society of wealthy individuals getting all the breaks at the expense of those among us who are least able to help themselves. I don’t want to live in a society like that. We all do better when we all do better. We are all connected and the sooner we figure that our the better. It’s just a smart thing to do, even for conservatives.

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