Counterfactual alert: A Conservative Case for Raising Taxes?

Just throwing it out there. From Steven Hayward:

one problem with our current tax policy is that at the moment the American people as a whole are receiving a dollar of government for the price of only 60 cents. (I don’t say a “dollar’s worth of government,” but let’s leave that snark for another time.) Any time you can get a dollar of something at a 40 percent discount, you are going to demand more of it. My theory is simple: if the broad middle class of Americans are made to pay for all of the government they get, they may well start to demand less of it, quickly.
There’s corollary point to this. Back in the Reagan years, there was a vigorous internal debate about whether to resist tax increases because “starving the beast” would hold down spending. But evidence is now in: this strategy doesn’t work. {here’s the source he cites-ed.}

Since starving the beast didn’t work, how about over-feeding it?

Right now the anti-tax bias of the right has the effect of shifting costs onto future generations who do not vote in today’s elections, and enables liberals to defend against spending restraints very cheaply. Time to end the free ride….more to the point, the argument should be cast in terms of a creating pro-growth tax reform. Froma Harrop of the Providence Journal has a typically idiotic column out today saying Americans want higher taxes. It is not even worth the bother of debunking. There is one highly useable sentence in it: “Today, high-tax Sweden has only 7 percent unemployment, while ours is 9 percent. How come? Before the 2008 economic meltdown, Sweden prudently maintained a budget surplus equal to 3.6 percent of its economy.” Never mind that Sweden isn’t exactly putting its shoulder to the wheel in the fight against terrorists (or anything else), and just focus your mind on one fact: yes, it is a high tax country, but its corporate income tax rate is one-third lower than the U.S. rate (26% for Sweden; 39% for the U.S.). So, my opening bid is—yes. By all means let’s emulate Sweden’s tax rates, starting with a one-third cut in our corporate income tax rate, and a hike in middle class income tax rates. Deal? I didn’t think so.

Yeah, not so sure this is gonna fly, but interesting.

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michael
michael
10 years ago

Imagine our unemployment rates if we were not leading the fight against terrorism.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Poor Sweden.
Today, and for most of the last 35 years governed by center-right anti-immigrant (Ray-Zist) parties-after the socialist government caused a near complete economic collapse in the early 70’s.
No Anchor Babies in Sweden. You’re illegal? Your kids don’t get citizenship; they don’t get she-it.
Bite on this-there are more illegal aliens and anchor babies in flailing California then there are PEOPLE in Sweden.
Yet the progressive communists still use it as some phony socialist paradise.

Tommy Cranston
Tommy Cranston
10 years ago

Poor Sweden.
Today, and for most of the last 35 years governed by center-right anti-immigrant (Ray-Zist) parties-after the socialist government caused a near complete economic collapse in the early 70’s.
No Anchor Babies in Sweden. You’re illegal? Your kids don’t get citizenship; they don’t get she-it.
Bite on this-there are more illegal aliens and anchor babies in flailing California then there are PEOPLE in Sweden.
Yet the progressive communists still use it as some phony socialist paradise.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

Re: Over-feeding the beast
Isn’t that exactly what we have going on here? Before the last election, after years of hearing the blame being focused on Carcieri and Almond for the state’s woes, I wanted the most liberal, most progressive Governor possible for this state, so all those whiners could finally realize where the problem is. The General Assembly. They are starting to turn on their own now. Maybe then we’ll all get what we want, the 30-year career Assembly-people to be gone. In an election between a progressive and a conservative, I’ll take my chances on the conservative. I truly believe that RI is more conservative than they think they are.
So I think right now, we’re getting that “overfeeding” that could help to oust the current government. It just might take a total collapse to get there first.

stuckhereinri
stuckhereinri
10 years ago

“I truly believe that RI is more conservative than they think they are. ”
Patrick, I think you’re right (and I don’t mean ‘conservative) here.
I know plenty of people, including Police officers and Firemen who are AT LEAST ‘moderate’ if not downright conservative (in lots of aspects anyway), but consistently vote blue.
Perhaps they don’t understand the real differences between conservative, moderate and liberal/progressive and how that relates to how the representative/senator is going to vote.

Patrick
Patrick
10 years ago

“Perhaps they don’t understand the real differences between conservative, moderate and liberal/progressive”
Yes, and that’s the Republican candidate’s fault for not effectively getting that information out there. It is also the voter’s fault for not really learning the views of the candidate beyond “He’s a Democrat, he’s a Republican” and then making up their mind based on that.
I always think it’s funny when people say “I don’t always just vote Democrat” and then I ask them to name a Republican that they’ve voted for and they have to think about it. Sometimes they’ll even answer “Reagan”, but then I remind them that they’re 40 years old and must be thinking of their 4th grade classroom vote.
We really, really should get rid of political parties. They’ve long gone beyond any usefulness whatsoever.

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