Some have criticized House Budget Committee chair Paul Ryan’s budget for being too ambitious in certain respects – defunding ObamaCare, reducing tax rates and dramatically simplifying the rate structure, and repealing the hated Alternative Minimum Tax, for example. But in addition to having the courage to propose good ideas just because they are the right thing to do, Ryan’s budget deserves applause for putting a strong opening bid on the table. It doesn’t make any sense to impose concessions on yourself before tough negotiations have even begun.
The tax-and-spend drunken sailors who run the Democrat Party certainly understand that principle, because the Washington Examiner reports that their budget proposal is stuffed with pork-barrel spending plus nearly a trillion dollars in higher taxes:
Senate Democrats would raise nearly $1 trillion in new taxes under a budget proposal they laid out for President Obama while lunching with him in the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.
The president is making the rounds in the Capitol to help facilitate talks on a budget deal, which is set to consume lawmakers in the coming months as they work to strike a “grand bargain” on reducing the nation’s debt and deficit.
“He is very supportive of the path we are moving down,” Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said after the lunch.
Murray, who chairs the Senate budget panel, will unveil a budget plan Wednesday that would use $975 billion in tax increases and $975 billion in spending cuts to achieve $1.85 trillion in deficit reduction, according to those familiar with the plan.
Of course, as anyone with a room-temperature IQ and passing knowledge of history knows, the “$975 billion in spending cuts” – well over ten times the size of the sequestration “cuts” that drove this Party into convulsions, and led President Obama to declare war on the American people, with punishments ranging from fraudulent threats, to the cancellation of White House tours, to the release of illegal aliens from detention facilities – will never happen. You’ll get the tax increases good and hard, and immediately. The spending cuts will mostly happen in the “out years,” i.e. never. The next Congress will simply declare that changing conditions, or the underestimated lingering horrors of George W. Bush, make it impossible to carry out savage, draconian, heartless cuts to vital government programs. Hostage firemen and teachers will be paraded on stage. You know the drill. Patty Murray probably already has her Draconian Cut Speech for 2015 tucked into a desk drawer. And note that the Demcorats’ budget never actually balances, not even with these tax hikes.
These people are insane. It’s offensive they would float an idea like this, even as the opening gambit in a bargaining process. The American people are not well-served by an environment in which statists feel comfortable making such an bid, especially with trillions in debt they piled up looming over our heads, prompting urgent talk of deficit reduction. Barack Obama’s tottering economy cannot survive another trillion dollars in tax hikes, double what he already extracted during the “fiscal cliff” showdown.
But they know they won’t get what their asking for. They’ll grudgingly part with a few bucks from this latest cash grab; the media will hail them as reasonable statesmen when they hit, say, $700 billion in tax increases, and begin wailing about Republican intransigence. Why, those poor Democrats already “gave up” $300 billion! Why can’t Republicans meet them “halfway?” Why do those stubborn extremists persist in protecting the treasure vaults of their rich friends, instead of “compromising” and joining the “grand bargain” to give Democrats more money they can pass along to their rich friends?
The mantra for Americans interested in recovering liberty and prosperity should be: Spending cuts now, tax increases never. There’s no reason the American people should be made to suffer for the irresponsible spending of past decades, and the warp-speed waste of the past four years. No taxpayer should be asked to cough up a single dime of increased taxes while countless billions are still being wasted on ludicrous initiatives, duplicate programs, absurdly abused welfare packages, and lavish lifestyles for top politicians. We won’t be fooled again by promises of future spending cuts that never come, in trade for the immediate looting of our bank accounts.
Tax cuts are what this moribund economy needs to roar back to life, as the Ryan budget understands. “You can’t cut taxes! That will increase the deficit!” wail Democrats. No, increased economic activity would generate more revenue with a lower tax burden, as history has repeatedly demonstrated. But why argue about this in the abstract? Let’s put it to the test. Democrats didn’t mind racking up trillions in debt through ridiculous disasters like the Obama “stimulus” and ObamaCare. Why not show a little faith in the industry of the American people, and gamble a little more debt – more than offset by big spending cuts – on the proposition that they can fund the government more effectively while also pursuing prosperity?
That’s what this is really all about: faith in the American people. Tax and spending cuts are both expressions of that belief. The private sector grows smaller when the government spends more, takes more, and regulates more. The reverse is also true: smaller government, bigger people. The Republicans should miss no opportunity to declare that the animating spirit of their budget proposals is faith in the people, while the Democrat budget’s core principle is faith in the State. Let the negotiations begin with that understanding, and let’s see where we end up.