Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rational and Responsible Assumptions

"In fact the GOP's deficit-detonating tax-cut proposals make the Democrats with their spending look like pikers. The stimulus bill, remember, cost $787 billion. The tax-cut bill that Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell unveiled last week—a combination of making permanent the Bush tax cuts and throwing in a host of other tax credits—has a price tag of around $3.9 trillion. For those keeping score at home, the self-styled party of fiscal responsibility wants to blow a hole in the budget nearly five times larger than the alleged profligacy they have spent the last year or more condemning."

This guy is smooth - seems not to even blush when he compares the spending of other peoples' money with refusing to raise taxes in the same breath.
The assumption behind the statement that not raising taxes has a "price tag" is the assumption of the Statist.  The Statist inherently believes in governments goodness, and power to create good outcomes.  He see all through this lens of government's good intentions and capacity for good outcomes.  Blowing a hole in a budget should be viewed as a crime through that lens.
For me, I doubt the the government CAN create good outcomes, and certainly does not in the vast majority of cases.  I wonder why only tax raising can be considered 'responsible.'  It would seem to me that we cannot possibly tax enough to have a 'responsible' government.  I don't know of any case in which a government has taxed its way to prosperity.  I'm perhaps a loonie, but would rather see a government behave responsibly with spending as proof that it deserves more tax receipts.  My assumption is that when taxes or raised, and perhaps moreso when they are not raised, those in the government have only the incentive to spend more money. 
The money they spend is not related in any way to the outcomes that result - it just vanishes into the pockets of the special interests which politicians are elected to represent and benefit. 
The political calculus that governs politican spending is of no benefit to those who's taxes will be raised.
I assume in his mind the spending which is promised with social security and medicare and medicaid is not negotiable - therefore, the only 'reasonable' thing to do is to raise taxes to try to keep pace with the spending.  This approach is pragmatic and seems to be what got us to the position we now enjoy. 
In my mind, no matter how much taxes are raised, politicians will spend more.  It's the priniciple of political calculus applied in Darwinian fashion.  Very few politicians survive by refusing the spend.  Therefore, there will never be enough politicians who refuse to spend to actually stop the spending.  Against that back drop, soaked and even marinaded in that political broth, it seems sane to view increased taxes rates as a 'rational and responsible' choice.

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