Even Liberals Know That Soaking the Rich Is Nothing But a Bait And Switch TacticBy Capitalist in Chief
In a July 6th 2009, Washington Post Op Ed entitled “Fattening the Beast:
Obama’s Twist on a GOP Budget Strategy” Fred Hiatt opens with the following:
Since the Reagan era, some conservatives have hoped to shrink government by “starving the beast.” Refuse to raise taxes, they figured, and eventually spending would have to fall.
It’s beginning to look as though the new team may have a similar strategy, in reverse: Increase spending, and eventually taxes will have to be raised.
This is nothing extraordinary. But what is unusual (for an otherwise left leaning article) is the following admission:
The bottom line is this: You cannot run a progressive government of the kind Obama favors by collecting only 18 percent of the gross domestic product in taxes, which has been the norm over the past 40 years. Nor can you increase the tax take to 24.5 percent of GDP — which is what Obama proposes to be spending in 2019 — simply by making the rich pay more.
What? “You cannot run a progressive government of the kind Obama favors… simply by making the rich pay more.”
This breaks a doctrine so fundamental to the Democratic Party that it can not do without! And it shatters one of the greatest political bait and switch tricks of all times: Promise the people entitlements others will pay for, and then make them pay for those anyway. What will the Democrats do now?
Hiatt started strong, but sadly concluded with a misguided jab at tax cutting strategies:
But let’s not forget how that starving-the-beast thing worked out. Conservatives were happy to cut taxes, but cutting spending didn’t appeal all that much, and deficits soared.
Yes, let’s not forget that Bush’s tax cuts actually coincided with an increase in revenues to the treasury (in inflation adjusted dollars). Let’s not forget that the budget deficits under Bush were largely due to a great increase in spending, i.e. an actual budget cut was unnecessary, a mere up keep with inflation would have sufficed to balance the budget. See federal revenue and spending chart here. And also necessarily let’s remember (as many Liberals always seem to “forget”) that the Iraq war, whether necessary or not, comprised of only a small fraction of the budget deficit under Bush.