The Party of Big Taxes

Which party? The Republican Party, or so advises Mark Steyn:
Any “debt-reduction plan” that doesn’t address at least $1.3 trillion a year is, in fact, a debt-increase plan.

So given that the ruling party will not permit spending cuts, what should Republicans do? If I were John Boehner, I’d say: “Clearly there’s no mandate for small government in the election results. So, if you milquetoast pantywaist sad-sack excuses for the sorriest bunch of so-called Americans who ever lived want to vote for Swede-sized statism, it’s time to pony up.”

Okay, he might want to focus-group it first. But that fundamental dishonesty is the heart of the crisis. You cannot simultaneously enjoy American-sized taxes and European-sized government. One or the other has to go.
So what's the scale of "ponying up"? It's there in the piece: every tax of every kind needs to go up by half, assuming we can prevent entitlements from growing any larger than they are today. Which, of course, we cannot do.


Texan99 said...

We could, instead, just keep running up the deficit until people quit lending to us and the currency collapses. That's actually the most likely scenario, I think.

DdR said...

What if that is the goal? What will be the response of the US Government should the currency collapse? Who gains?

Grim said...

It's chaotic enough a process that it's hard to predict winners and losers precisely. However, it would offer the central government a great deal of opportunity to concentrate power, because it would destroy the ability of ordinary people to get things like food at prices they can afford (due to the rapid inflation). If someone wanted to concentrate power, and were prepared to do so, they could make big strides in such circumstances.

On the other hand, it would be an end to the debt crisis, because we could easily pay off our debts -- public and private -- with the newly inflated currency. Your mortgage or student loan bills might suddenly be only a fraction of your salary, assuming they have a fixed rate and your salary is at least somewhat responsive to the inflation.

It would also give you a way of addressing entitlements, I guess, because sending people checks in the inflated currency would become a largely pointless exercise. The question of what replaced them would be open, though: you could either disarm the government of its entitlement powers, or you could end up with a much more direct system of aid -- single-payer health care, say.

Really, there aren't any good brackets for figuring out where that goes. You could use your imagination to try to hunt for the limits, but people will be so upset that it's hard to say what they might agree to under that kind of social chaos.

RonF said...

The problem is that the people who voted for it think that they are truly (in the moral sense, not the legal sense) entitled to it and think that it would be unjust if they should not have to pay for it.

Except for those who actually are rich. Let's tax the hell out of income derived from entertainment - movies, music, sports, etc. Tax the entertainers, tax the stadia and venue owners, tax the product itself, tax the distributors, etc.

Texan99 said...

Anyone who owes, gets a break. Anyone who has saved, gets screwed. That's ecstasy for class-war collectivists. There's a reason leftist policies tend to lead to currency collapses.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

I doubt that long-term concentrations of government power are really in their minds, however the paranoid side of the mind gazes that way. Short-term political gain is Democrat standard. These are used-car salesmen (unfair to the salesmen, many of whom are quite decent. Sorry.) The brighter among them have observed that these policies do tend to give them more power in the long run - but they haven't really thought about how that works, or why. It is like the response of unintelligent organisms: "Hey, there seems to be food over there pretty often!"