It didn’t take Barack Obama long to receive the message sent by Friday’s historic budget deal. He knows what America really wants is higher taxes.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama will roll out his exciting new ideas for budget reform in a speech this Wednesday. He’s supposed to touch on entitlement reform, “a discussion he has largely left to Democrats and Republicans in Congress.” The Democrat contribution to that “discussion” has involved closing their eyes and screaming that Social Security is just fine, and if we have any further questions in 2031, we can contact Harry Reid at his nursing home. Also, they think anyone who wants to “discuss” Social Security is a murderous sadist who enjoys killing old people.
In addition to acknowledging that Paul Ryan has checkmated Democrats on entitlement reform, Obama is expected to drag out his tired old plan to soak everyone who makes over $250,000 per year with higher taxes. There is no more obvious sign of the Democrats’ complete intellectual exhaustion than dragging out the exact same tax-raising snake oil Americans decisively rejected only a few months ago. “Now that we’ve trimmed a few days’ worth of wild, irresponsible spending from the federal budget, let’s talk about raising your taxes again. Looks like this horrible budget crisis will force us to do what we wanted to do anyway!”
The media will fall into line behind the President in short order, running stories about how our taxes are so much lower than those of European countries – you know, the moribund basket cases we had to bail out with billions from the U.S. Treasury. They’ll also tell you our taxes have been much higher at earlier points in American history, conveniently forgetting to mention the absence of our titanic, job-killing modern regulatory state at those earlier moments. Income tax is only one of many costs the super-State imposes upon the private sector.
We are entering a great debate about the proper size and scope of government. At its heart, this is a debate about power, not just money. We should not be willing to grant the government any more power to decide who “deserves” to keep how much money, and who is “entitled” to the fruit of other peoples’ labor. Making government smaller involves reducing its level of control over our lives. That includes its spending, regulatory power, and ability to wage class warfare through increasingly steep “progressive” taxation.
Reduce the size and power of the State, and the private sector will grow. This will bring a declining government budget closer to meeting the modestly-taxed output of a growing economy. Raising taxes adds hundreds more pages to an already absurd body of tax law, and gives job-creating investors more compelling reasons to make the kind of investments that don’t create American jobs.
The illusion of balanced budgets through tax hikes on the Evil Rich is a time-wasting dead end. Obama and his party desperately need to learn financial discipline… and you don’t teach that lesson by giving the spendthrifts more money. America does not need to hear one more word from these people about who “deserves” to keep their own property and income.
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