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February 23, 2009

Infuriating Proposition of the Day: "Let's Raise Taxes!"

So says this gentleman:

The first of several stimulus packages has just passed but it is just the beginning of our efforts to address our immediate and long-term economic problems.

After 2010, the federal operating budget will face trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. They have to be addressed for the long-term prosperity of our country and our future credit-worthiness in the world.

Eventually every American has to dig in and pay more taxes to help our country and our fellow citizens. We must put in place the laws and mechanisms to steadily increase taxes after 2010. We have to owe up to our massive public and private financial messes. Cutting federal earmarks and waste will not eliminate even half the annual deficits. The federal budget gap will require increasing taxes by over $500 billion by 2011. Fiscally irresponsible and spoiled children hate to hear this news but it’s our only choice for our collective long-term prosperity.

Actually, there's an argument to be made for raising taxes.

We've just finished levying an obscene amount of debt upon our children and grandchildren. They didn't vote for this - we did (we being our elected representatives, who wouldn't be where they are if more Americans hadn't voted for them than the number who voted for the other party).

How long can we keep increasing the deficit without addressing the fact that our national house has taken on more and more debt every year? If a family increases their debt, they don't have the option to reduce the amount they're paying on their loans: as the principal goes up, so do their payments.

The argument to be made here is that our continuing refusal to pay as we go only encourages more bad decisions and incites Congress to new heights of fiscal irresponsibility. Some wag once remarked that pain is an excellent motivator. Perhaps what our Congressional overlords really need is an object lesson in cause and effect.

And perhaps if the tax burden becomes uncomfortable enough, fiscal conservatism will find more (and more ardent) supporters among the voting populace.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by Cassandra at February 23, 2009 07:46 AM

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Comments

I have to disagree. Raising taxes will not solve anything, because then the electacritters will just figure they have more money to play with. There needs to be a way to enforce fiscal discipline within government, to make elected officials responsible to the people who elected them, to stop with all the pork and outrageous costs to funding programs.

Raising taxes will just mean that more money is taken from the people who earn it and tranferring it to others at the barrel of a jail cell.

Posted by: William Teach at February 23, 2009 01:50 PM

There needs to be a way to enforce fiscal discipline within government, to make elected officials responsible to the people who elected them, to stop with all the pork and outrageous costs to funding programs.

Isn't this mechanism called "an election"? :p

Maybe the problem isn't them. Maybe it's us.

Posted by: Joe Sixpack, ADD Nation at February 23, 2009 01:54 PM

Raising taxes will just mean that more money is taken from the people who earn it and tranferring it to others at the barrel of a jail cell.

True. And since we make over 250K, my husband and I are right in the crosshairs. But that doesn't change the fact that so long as Congress can pass what amount to underfunded mandates, there is no incentive for them to stop.

So what's the solution? How do we hold them accountable?

And perhaps more importantly, how do we change the minds of the twerps who think that raising taxes will increase revenue, who think raising taxes won't make it harder for us to recover from the recession, the ones who keep voting these bozos into office?

Conceptually they're fine with the idea of asking me to pay for their policy preferences. So how do I get it across to them that this tactic isn't going to work?

It's a serious question.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 23, 2009 02:25 PM

The irresponsible children are those who raised the number and costs of social programs without accounting for how they would be paid for.

Here's the problem I have with bailing out the states. If a state like California was so unwise as to elect representatives that decided to funnel money into social programs instead of infrastructure, etc., then why now that they can no longer pay for it all should I pay for their infrastructure so that they can funnel more money into social programs that my state didn't enact because we knew we couldn't pay for it?

Why should California be able to allocate my money to services I can'f afford in my own state?

Posted by: RonF at February 23, 2009 02:31 PM

Isn't this mechanism called "an election"? :p Maybe the problem isn't them. Maybe it's us.

There are so many people that are now dependent on the state (between welfare and other governmental aid and state employees) that they can elect people who will retain and increase this status.

Posted by: RonF at February 23, 2009 02:32 PM

There are so many people that are now dependent on the state (between welfare and other governmental aid and state employees) that they can elect people who will retain and increase this status.

They will, so long as the count of the irresponsible exceeds the number of folks who willingly submit to increased taxation to pay for their irresponsibility (IOW, so long as the tactic works :p).

Posted by: Cassandra at February 23, 2009 02:35 PM

"Eventually every American has to dig in and pay more taxes to help our country and our fellow citizens"...actually, there are quite a few Americans who *benefit* very much from increased taxes and expanded government power. Even if their own taxes go up, they still come out ahead because of the substantial additional income they will receive.

Specifically: tenured professors, K-12 school administrators, lobbyists, many kinds of lawyers, senior government officials, executives and employees of many kinds of "nonprofit" organizations...these people, when they vote for expanded government and higher taxes, are very much voting their personal economic interests.

Posted by: david foster at February 23, 2009 02:45 PM

A lot of people view federal tax revenues as money that grows on trees.

They don't worry about the effect of raising taxes on revenue, and they certainly aren't worried about running out of money for their endless income redistribution plans.

Posted by: Cassandra at February 23, 2009 02:49 PM

Fiscally irresponsible and spoiled children hate to hear this news but it’s our only choice for our collective long-term prosperity.

No, we have several options, but the first one we need to implement is to give the fiscally irresponsible and spoiled children the bad news that we're throwing their butts out of Congress come next election cycle...

Posted by: BillT at February 23, 2009 03:19 PM

"Fiscally irresponsible and spoiled children hate to hear this news but it’s our only choice for our collective long-term prosperity."

IMNSAO, a good start, and an excellent show of "good faith" (can you use that phrase in conjunction with Congress?), would be for Congress to turn down this year's annual raise.....oh wait, what was I thinking!

Posted by: DL Sly at February 23, 2009 03:44 PM

Cousin John had this to say that last time we were forced to deal with an out of control Parliment,

"There is a dignity, a majesty, a sublimity, in this last effort of the patriots that I greatly admire."
Bill's idea of voting the rascals out is a good first step. Insisting upon term limits may be a good second step. But failing that, what? Do we continue to feed the beast that robs us and puts their boot to the backs of our children and their children?

Those who fund this government need to think of what actions will be required to rein in our perpetual class of noble Parliamentarians whose hands are crooked and dirty from excessive seizures of private assets. Using the assets seized from the private citizens and businesses of this nation to further their ambitions of power by their wasteful use and abuse of the public money recklessly thrown to the four corners of the globe. Private assets seized for the public good and then promptly blown or misappropriated as surely as when the noble Parliamentarians are caught doing wrong, yet pay no penalty similar to what a peasant would for the same crime.

Yes, how do we stop those who defile the Constitution and instead look to international law for our bindings?

And of those who seek our subjugation through increased burdens on the producers and ultimately the ruin of our independence as a free people and a nation. How?

And how can we remove one and prevent their spouse, son, daughter, or other silver-tongued photogenic proxy promising the gimme voting block free housing, free transportation, free medicine, free drugs, from assuming their place among the noble Parliamentarian overlords?

The question of how to educate those who return the corruptacrats to office is moot. They are the same voters who will receive the noble Parliamentarians redistributive largess seized from those who were forced to surrender more and more and more. Until enough exceeds ENOUGH.

May the recollection of this man's words ring a bell and light a torch.

"Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction? Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope, until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us."
The time has passed for us to restore the limitations on government as outlined in our Constitution, says I. Or we can we gather strength by irresolution and inaction.

Now, I think I'll have a beer over here in the corner and perform a check of my headdress and deer skins while waiting for the day of reckoning to arrive.

Posted by: Samuel Adams at February 23, 2009 05:14 PM

What would be better than raising taxes would be an open an honest admission that we aren't going to pay for the social programs that will soon come due.

The government has long been making this admission privately. We should be honest about it openly. We aren't really that badly in debt. If you're counting on Social Security or a Federal pension, however, you need to be thinking about what you want to do for you late-in-life job.

Posted by: Grim at February 24, 2009 07:26 AM

"If you're counting on Social Security or a Federal pension, however, you need to be thinking about what you want to do for you late-in-life job."
Yup.

Posted by: bthun at February 24, 2009 01:39 PM

I don't suppose anybody's ever thought of spending less.

Anyone who's looked at Life knows that whenever more money comes in, more goes out. The more they collect in taxes, the more they'll spend.

Somebody said that giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to a teenager.


Posted by: ZZMike at February 24, 2009 03:25 PM

"I don't suppose anybody's ever thought of spending less."
Ha! We're talking about the Gub'ment here... Spend, seize more, repeat. And to put forward a more recent number to Grim's point, the Feb '09 figures for the National Ponzi Scheme. Income exceeds outlay, as it has for the entire 40 years I've contributed, but somehow, all the excess becomes vapor-paper.

Personally, I would rather take my chances with the rising and falling investments on Wall Street. Investments that are at my put and call over this scam called Social Security any day. And I'd settle for just half of what has been contributed by both myself and my employers, without any interest.

Any other entity running a scam similar to the N.P.S. would be convicted, disgraced and doing a couple of lifetimes under the prison.

I think I'll go sit in the corner with Samuel.

Posted by: bt_read-the-functionality-manual_hun at February 24, 2009 05:59 PM

Samuel better be bringing more beer.....
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at February 24, 2009 07:03 PM

*raises Samuel's Boston Lager in salute to sister DL Sly and the assemblage of villains*

Salute!

Posted by: bt_read-the-functionality-manual_hun at February 24, 2009 08:13 PM

*raises ABNL-12OZ/8 Focusing Fuel*

I'll second that emotion.
0>;~}

Posted by: DL Sly at February 25, 2009 02:37 AM

> Actually, there's an argument to be made for raising taxes.

What, "If we f*** up the economy even more, we're sure to retain our offices"?

Doesn't sound like a good argument for much of anyone's benefit.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at February 25, 2009 09:43 AM

> There are so many people that are now dependent on the state (between welfare and other governmental aid and state employees) that they can elect people who will retain and increase this status.

This is why they want to add more people to the union rolls.

"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it."
- Ashleigh Brilliant -


While most intelligent people are firm believers in the former, the Democratic party is thoroughly committed to the latter.

Posted by: Obloodyhell at February 25, 2009 09:46 AM

No.

The argument to be made for raising taxes is that it would provide an object lesson in unintended consequences. Sometimes, that is the only way you win an argument - not with words, but by beating your opponent over the head with reality.

If we raise taxes and tax revenue goes DOWN, that pretty much dispenses with the "but we need more tax revenue!" argument b/c it obviously didn't work.

If we raise taxes on the "rich" and corporations and they behave like any rational actor (i.e., they find tax shelters or move their business to a more tax friendly environment) then it's kind of hard to argue you "helped". All you've done is replace the capacity of the private sector to generate wealth with the government dole. As they say in Missouri, "show me".

Not saying it would not be painful. Just saying sometimes (as I found with my children when they were unreasonable) the swiftest way to convince them you're right is to give them have exactly what they want :p

FWIW, it was a sarcastic suggestion.

Posted by: Cass at February 25, 2009 09:49 AM

I don't want to raise taxes. I want to reverse the decisions to spend money on silly garbage, not to mention unrealistic entitlements.

Posted by: Texan99 at February 25, 2009 10:23 AM

" If we raise taxes on the "rich" and corporations and they behave like any rational actor (i.e., they find tax shelters or move their business to a more tax friendly environment) then it's kind of hard to argue you "helped". All you've done is replace the capacity of the private sector to generate wealth with the government dole."
Oh, Oh, OH! I know how to stimulate the nation's business environment! Let's not only raise taxes, let's increase regulation, Force an increase in union membership through via card check. And let's offer tax monies to failed businesses and appoint government czars to oversee, if not manage, the new/improved business!

That's the ticket, the plan! Oh wait...

"Making an international comparison with only corporate taxes—excluding the business taxes paid in the non-corporate sector—probably understates the U.S.'s average tax rate because the non-corporate sector tends to be considerably larger in the U.S. than in most other countries. About 30 percent of U.S. business taxes are paid by the owners of non-corporate business entities (e.g., S corporations, partnerships, sole proprietorships, etc) when they file their individual income tax returns. Including these tax payments with corporate income tax payments paid would increase business taxes as a percentage of GDP in the U.S. to 3.3 percent.

In some respects, the trends described in Figures 1 and 2 only tell part of the story. Wage rates, education levels, the regulatory environment, among other factors, also affect a nation's competitiveness. Nevertheless, these charts indicate quite clearly that the business tax environment abroad has changed considerably over the past two decades.

Moreover, other countries continue to reform their business tax systems in ways that have likely pushed the weighted average effective marginal tax rates down further since 2005, the last year covered by Figure 2. For example, nine of the 30 OECD member nations—including Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, Switzerland, Spain, New Zealand and the Czech Republic—lowered their corporate tax rates between 2007 and 2008.

Read the entire piece here.

Posted by: bt_read-the-functionality-manual_hun at February 25, 2009 10:26 AM

Lest we fret over the governments use of the tax revenue that they can use so much more better than those who earned it, Vice-Mensa Biden today sought to reassure the nation. In his interview on ABC's GMA, V-M Biden said that he will effectively manage the disbursal and use of that hard seized... borrowed... ahhh, printed... all of the above money.

“In some cases we can withdraw the money we can hold them accountable. And in other places we’ll just use the television, the radio and the media to embarrass them for not doing what their’ supposed to do,” Biden said to Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts.

“We got to make sure this is done by the numbers, man, we gotta make sure people know where the money is going,” Biden said on ABC. “This cannot be squandered. We have an opportunity to get the nation back to work and back on its feet and the first piece of that is generating some economic growth here and we have to do it right.”

According to unnamed White House sources, The Comfy Chair has been transferred to a undisclosed location in Cabo San Lucas Mexico.

Publicly, the White House has denied any official policy to coerce honest, effective and ethical spendulus money management out of the recipients.

Posted by: Dan Wite-Out ® Blather at February 25, 2009 10:54 AM

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