Too Much Wishful Thinking on Middle-Class Tax Rates

When President Obama talks about taxing the rich, he means the top 2 percent of Americans. John A. Boehner, the House speaker, talks about an even thinner slice. But the current and future fiscal imbalances are too large to exempt 98 percent or more of the public from being part of the solution.

Ultimately, unless we scale back entitlement programs far more than anyone in Washington is now seriously considering, we will have no choice but to increase taxes on a vast majority of Americans. This could involve higher tax rates or an elimination of popular deductions. Or it could mean an entirely new tax, such as a value-added tax or a carbon tax.

To be sure, the path ahead is not easy. No politician who wants to be re-elected is eager to entertain the possibility of higher taxes on the middle class. But fiscal negotiations might become a bit easier if everyone started by agreeing that the policies we choose must be constrained by the laws of arithmetic.

Emphasis mine. Via Too Much Wishful Thinking on Middle-Class Tax Rates – NYTimes.com.

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4 thoughts on “Too Much Wishful Thinking on Middle-Class Tax Rates”

  1. Not sure why everyone always leans toward more taxes. How about just saying “No” to spending. When families hit hard times they cut back all spending, and eat cheaper foods. Why is that too much to ask of Gov’t?

    When the people come to the Govt for handouts, they should be hearing “No”.

  2. The problem is that even if we cut spending, we still need to bring in more money to pay off (primarily) the interest on the debt. Both need to happen at the same time or it won’t work. I agree that the people should be hearing “no”. There needs to be serious axes taken to the budget. Some things can’t be cut because they are required by law. Most can though. At the same time, we need to raise taxes across the board for a limited time with no chance at extension.

  3. Joseph: “Some things can’t be cut because they are required by law.”

    The neat thing about that is, the law can be changed.

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