Video: Tax hikes not needed to balance budget

posted at 10:12 am on October 5, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Of course they’re not, says Dan Mitchell of the Center for Freedom and Prosperity.  Most obviously, we can simply start cutting vast amounts of federal agencies in jurisdictions outside those granted the federal government by the Constitution.  But as Mitchell puts it, no one in Washington cares about the Constitution anyway.  You know what they like, though?  Bill Clinton. Heck, even Mitchell likes Bill Clinton … at least in comparison to what followed, in terms of spending.  Going back to the Clinton budget, even after adjusting for inflation, would almost immediately balance the budget:

Of course, some people in the Beltway like Barack Obama, too.  (It’s one of the few places where one can say that about Obama without fear of contradiction.)  Mitchell has an answer for that, too.  If we just put a hard cap on spending, the budget would naturally balance itself in five years — with the Bush tax cuts still in place.

The only reason to raise taxes is to allow Congress to spend more … which is the real reason for our massive deficits.  It’s akin to giving free heroin to a junkie.


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Wow, that’s a really bad tie.

myrenovations on October 5, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Veronique de Rugy has a good piece with a graph on the folly of the president’s math re tax cuts. The bottom line is that it is spending cuts that should be in order.

http://www.american.com/archive/2010/october/taxes-and-presidential-math

onlineanalyst on October 5, 2010 at 10:16 AM

I hope Chuck Todd got an earful of this, it looks like he filmed this where Chuck Todd usually reports from.

Greek Fire on October 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM

All these grim economic topics are going to bum me out today.

Bishop on October 5, 2010 at 10:22 AM

NO Tax increases,and yet the budget increases,
like Team Obama’s NeverEnding Govenment Expansion,

pass the KOOL_AID,so I can see this better after
I pound a glass back!!(Sarc).

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 10:26 AM

I don’t remember who it was but getting rid of the Dept. of Education was one pundit’s proof that a candidate was crazy. I bet he/she would be amazed at how many crazy people there are in the country.

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2010 at 10:26 AM

The section on the Constitution is pretty lame. Maybe I’m missing something, but while we can easily get rid of the Dept. of Education or National Endowment for the Arts, how do we function without a Department of Transportation? Are the states going to be totally responsible for their own roads now? How does one create an interstate system without federal oversight? You could end up with a lot of roads (or trains) to nowhere.

Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

In fact cutting the federal budget by 75% would be about right. Let them figure it out.

tarpon on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

The Dept. of Education has had the largest expansion of personnel and funding compared to any other budget category via this administration than in any time previously.

onlineanalyst on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Going back to the Clinton budget, even after adjusting for inflation, would almost immediately balance the budget

What about after adjusting for the lack of a dotcom boom this time around. Oops, there goes your theory Dano.

Clinton raised taxes too, and his policies had absolutely nothing to do with temporarily bolstering the economy. The stockmarket went bananas and then the roof caved in after people realized they were investing in flash-in-the pan internet companies who were keeping their heads above water with borrowed money.

fogw on October 5, 2010 at 10:44 AM

The Budget and Economic Outlook:
Fiscal Years 2009 to 2019
Congressional Budget Office
============================

http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdocs/99xx/doc9957/01-07-Outlook.pdf

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 10:45 AM

The Administration • Office of Management and Budget

http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 10:47 AM

Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Don’t you already pay taxes in your state for infrastructure, or do you pay taxes that are portrayed as being for infrastructure and in reality it is spent on some other program! Hmmm???

What we need is “Truth in Politics and Government” instead of obfuscation and lies. We would survive just fine without EPA, DoEd, DOT,…all of the regulatory agencies that have no oversight to the TAX-PAYERS. Push that down to the states where the people that pay the bill have a closer view and control of what is going on.

belad on October 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

In fact cutting the federal budget by 75% would be about right. Let them figure it out.

tarpon on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Personally, I think 95% sounds better…!

WesternActor on October 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Congressional Budget Office
================================

http://www.cbo.gov/

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 10:52 AM

Democrats don’t want to raise taxes to balance the budget.

Never forget that.

Inanemergencydial on October 5, 2010 at 10:52 AM

2010 United States federal budget

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_United_States_federal_budget

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 10:56 AM

I recently decided that I had enough of a particular debt, so the wife and I cut our spending in a few areas to fund accelerated payment of the debt. We didn’t wait for a raise in my pay or anything.

So why can’t the government figure out the same thing?

jdfister on October 5, 2010 at 10:57 AM

The section on the Constitution is pretty lame. Maybe I’m missing something, but while we can easily get rid of the Dept. of Education or National Endowment for the Arts, how do we function without a Department of Transportation? Are the states going to be totally responsible for their own roads now? ***
Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

My #1 suggestion: have Congress pass a law abolishing all public sector unions. You’d probably have to honor in-force collective bargaining agreements, but after they expire on their own terms, that’s it… That’s a bold move, but, a move whose time has come.

Outlander on October 5, 2010 at 10:58 AM

how do we function without a Department of Transportation?

Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Buy Danish:Here some linky’s!!:)
==================================

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Department_of_Transportation

US Department of Transportation
==================================

http://www.dot.gov/

Find Regulations by Topic
=========================

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

http://openregs.com/topics

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

What about the off-budget black holes?

flyfisher on October 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM

It’s never made sense to take taxpayer money from the state level up to D.C. and funnel a small percentage of it back to the same state with budget busting regulations attached. It’ like no pleasure prostitution.

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2010 at 11:04 AM

Are the states going to be totally responsible for their own roads now? ***
Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Except for interstates isn’t that already the case?

Cindy Munford on October 5, 2010 at 11:05 AM

How does one create an interstate system without federal oversight? You could end up with a lot of roads (or trains) to nowhere.

Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 10:32 AM

Privatization. Make the interstates toll roads.
Besides, the interstate system was originally conceived as a military expense — Eisenhower wanted to copy what the Germans were able to do logistics-wise with theirs.

Count to 10 on October 5, 2010 at 11:26 AM

belad on October 5, 2010 at 10:48 AM

There is a place for the EPA — regulating pollution that crosses state boarders (mostly in rivers and coastlines). The problem is that it has been hijacked by econuts, and then allowed to sink it’s claws into everything without bound.

Count to 10 on October 5, 2010 at 11:31 AM

The Department of Education has to go. To get the public to agree, we have to guarantee that federal money will flow to the states in the same amounts they did in 2007. The saving will be the cost of the bureaucracy.

The progessive thugs will howl because what they really want is the power and control over education. This will expose them for what they are, -totalitarians. They know that the federalization of education helps create good little progressive idiots.

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Economic freedom for America means imposing limits on government taxation and spending. One piece of the solution is to shine a light on the ways and means Congress creates and writes spending bills. It is the organs of bureaucracy which have provided an easier softer way for our elected representatives to avoid responsibility for their votes and actions. Here is a tiny litany of some Federal agencies from just a few Federal Departments: OSHA, EPA, EEOC, CBO, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade, Bureau, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Bureau of the Public Debt, Community Development Financial Institution Fund, Federal Consulting Group, Office of Financial Stability, Office of Thrift Supervision (being abolished in 2011)… I thought you’d get a kick out of the last one.
Behemoth doesn’t even come close as an adequate descriptive.

Randy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_federal_agencies#Reporting_to_the_Secretary

williars on October 5, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Seen this? Illinois Pays More Than Mexico as Cash-Strapped States Sell Bonds Overseas

How long before the USA will have to pay more in interest to Red China than Mexico? Are these creeping rates included in national debt forecasts?

slickwillie2001 on October 5, 2010 at 12:34 PM

It’s akin to giving free heroin to a junkie.

We have tax-funded programs that do that too. Wouldn’t want junkies using dirty needles.

Esthier on October 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM

3% sounds like the target.

I’m all for it.

If the States really want to run an interstate highway system they can do so. They already have good enough environmental regulations to make the EPA obsolete, and a few States have better food standards than the FDA. The more you see the ‘solutions’ as a problem, the more you see opportunity to get power from the hands where it doesn’t belong and back into the hands where it does belong.

Saves money, too.

ajacksonian on October 5, 2010 at 1:17 PM

My point is that without federal oversight, one state can’t connect their roads/trains to another state in an interstate system. It’s a cooperative effort. As for getting rid of public employee unions, I’m totally on board.

canopfor on October 5, 2010 at 11:03 AM

Thanks. That just confirms to me that it is a department we need. That doesn’t mean it can’t be cut or scaled back, but we need oversight of airports, maritime, et cetera. This is precisely the sort of thing for which we do need federal involvement.

Buy Danish on October 5, 2010 at 2:57 PM

Which budget are we talking about here? Keep needing to remind ourselves the govt keeps 2 books (something we all would be arrested for).

clement on October 5, 2010 at 5:08 PM

The Interstate highway system is covered both by the Constitutional principles of providing for a common defense, and the Commerce clause.

Almost everything we wear, eat, drink, live in, or use is transported across the Interstate highway system.

There are many, many areas where the US government needs to be trimmed back, and some departments of the executive branch need to be eliminated entirely. But the Interstate needs Federal funding and standards.

SunSword on October 5, 2010 at 6:18 PM