Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Doublethink?

Today the Republican leadership in Congress slammed the President's budget, saying that it "taxes too much and borrows too much from our children." I would be interested in hearing how they suggest we fight the deficit by cutting taxes. After 8 years of fiscal irresponsibility, I have a very hard time listening to Republicans spout on about "passing debt to our children". Did they just find God on fiscal responsibility this year? Now that the President has to spend trillions bailing out and stimulating an economy that "got drunk" on George W Bush's watch, Republicans suddenly discovered the idea that deficits and debt are bad?

Yes, this budget has a lot of spending. Yes, some of Mr. Bush's tax cuts are allowed to expire. Should the President continue those tax cuts and make the deficit even larger? Personally, and I guess this makes me a socialistliberalpinkocommunist, I wouldn't have a problem with a tax hike across the board. The deficit needs to get under control, and cutting spending won't be enough. Right now we have wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to fund, an economy to help recover, and broken health care and Social Security programs.

Spending can only be cut so far. Cutting taxes will not increase revenue. The idea that higher taxes mean that people will stop working right before they hit the next tax bracket is insane, since you only pay that higher rate on the money earned in that bracket. The rest is taxed at the lower rate. Obviously, right now is probably a bad time for a tax hike, what with the recession. But at some point, the debt will have to be addressed, and taxes will go up. A gas tax (another evil liberal idea, I know) will hurt, but it will provide revenue and cause an increase in interest in green technology. When gas was at $4/gallon, the interest in hybrids and subcompacts was skyrocketing. I'm afraid that as gas gets cheaper, people will forget about this and go back to the big gas-guzzlers. There's no reason to wait until the debt becomes a crisis. This needs to be addressed, and soon.

...and with that rant, I'll stay away from domestic politics for a while.

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