Right Thinking From The Left Coast
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Taxes, National Security and Trust

One of the fun things about being a conservative is that, if you ignore the brain-dead national party, there’s a lot more intellectual vigor on the Right than the Left. Right now, there’s an interesting debate going on about whether we are going to have to acquiesce to tax increases in order to balance the budget. Bruce Bartlet is arguing that this is a national security issue, a position about which I’m somewhat dubious. But I like Bainbridge’s response:

On a bipartisan basis, our rulers have spent us into a position in which taxes probably will have to go up at least for a while. But agreeing to tax increases ought to be done only in return for a package of fundamental reforms. We need entitlement reforms (including raising the retirement age), budgetary reforms (bans on ear marks, a line item veto, and a balanced budget amendment), political reforms (real restrictions on gerrymandering), and the like. Letting the powers that be have higher taxes without those other reforms will not solve the problem. All it does is make for a bigger candy store to which we’ve given the keys to the children.

Put simply, absent real reforms, I don’t want anybody in Washington or Sacramento getting their grubby hands on any more of my money because I don’t trust them to spend it wisely. My guess is that a lot of Bartlett’s new friends on the left, for example, would be quite content to raise taxes and massively cut defense. So the either/or he presents strikes me as a false choice.

I’ve slowly come to believe that we may have to raise taxes—or at least let the Bush tax cuts expire—to balance the budget. Our population is simply too old and the interests too entrenched to do otherwise (you can try to balance the budget with only spending cuts here).  However, the last decade—and the state’s response to the stimulus money—has shown what happens when governments get oceans of new revenue. They do not use it shore up their finances and balance their budgets. They use it to start new programs with new future obligations.  Look at Obama. We’re facing a huge fiscal crisis right now.  He has proposed and passed numerous tax increases. However, these are targeted not at deficit reduction but at new programs, new entitlements and new obligations.

No, Bainbridge is right.  If new taxes are coming, we need something more than promises to ensure that we’re righting the fiscal ship. The current leadership can’t even go two months without ignoring PAYGO. They haven’t earned any more of our money.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 05/25/10 at 06:52 PM (Discuss this in the forums)

Comments


Posted by AlexinCT on 05/26/10 at 06:08 AM from United States

No, Bainbridge is right.  If new taxes are coming, we need something more than promises to ensure that we’re righting the fiscal ship.

These democrats are going to give us these new taxes and laugh at anyone’s suggestion to fix anything else. After all, they still feel we are not being taxed enough anyway, and we are too stupid to know what’s best for us all to boot, so government should be controlling all the money anyway. And anyone deluded enough to think that suddenly acquiescing to the left’s demand that we can not avoid higher taxes, which as has been pointed out is a situation created by a complete lack of fiscal responsibility by government, especially in the last 2 years or so, while saying that we should get some guarantee from the very government that sees both its powers and lucre drastically increased by their lack of fiscal responsibility, to prevent this from happening again is a absolute moron in my book.

What we need to demand first is massive entitlement reform and spending cuts. Once we have had some serious effort on that front, for a few years, we can discuss alternatives. My bet is that these tax hikes that the morons are caving in on suddenly, won’t even be needed then.

Posted by on 05/26/10 at 03:49 PM from United States

I’ve slowly come to believe that we may have to raise taxes—or at least let the Bush tax cuts expire—to balance the budget

look raising taxes is not the answer with this congress, if you raise taxes 1B dollars they will spend 2B. The first thing that needs to be done is to replace as many of the house of Representatives as possible with members that will stick with cut spending, cut spending before any tax increases are even considered, one other thing is to get people working the other way the Government gets revenue is by expanding the market, a little tougher but doable. one more thing is change the tax laws, if the figure 47% pay no taxes is correct, it’s time to redo the tax law, I for one think a flat rate tax would be the best, no exceptions no deductions, basically a one page document.

Posted by HARLEY on 05/26/10 at 08:53 PM from United States

I’ve slowly come to believe that we may have to raise taxes—or at least let the Bush tax cuts expire—to balance the budget


Do you have ANY faith that THIS congress or the NEXT, will spend wisely if the tax breaks were ended?
Posted by on 05/27/10 at 09:55 AM from United States

Does this count as intellectual vigor?

http://seminal.firedoglake.com/diary/50801

Posted by on 05/27/10 at 07:48 PM from United States

look raising taxes is not the answer with this congress, if you raise taxes 1B dollars they will spend 2B.

And my guess is, you raise them by $1B and you’ll collect an additional $0.5B if you’re lucky.  These estimates always assume that businesses and people will not alter their behavior in an attempt to avoid the new taxes.  Sometimes they can’t, sometimes they don’t, but many do.  So collect that extra 0.5B and spend the additional $2B and we continue the cycle.

Posted by club penguin cheats on 06/08/10 at 07:26 PM from China

it’s time to redo the tax law, I for one think a flat rate tax would be the best, no exceptions no deductions, basically a one page document.
club penguin cheats

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