Coburn: We have to raise taxes in order to pass spending cuts

posted at 2:55 pm on May 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier this week, Tom Coburn quit the Gang of Six negotiations in the Senate, saying that the bipartisan working group on the budget wanted to go in a substantially different direction than Coburn would travel.  Given that context, Coburn’s essay in today’s Washington Post prompts a question — just where exactly did the Gang of Six want to go?  Coburn argues in his article that conservatives are going to have to swallow some tax hikes to get the spending cuts they want (via OTB):

The public rightly prefers spending cuts over revenue increases, but numerous polls indicate the vast majority of Americans would support the only type of plan that would ever make it out of Congress and be signed into law: one that favors spending cuts over revenue increases but includes both.

Getting there, however, will require the Senate to put forward specific solutions and win public support for serious entitlement reform and tax reform.

Really?  The polling I’ve seen indicates that voters don’t want tax hikes at all as a solution to the budget deficit.  The latest came this week from The Hill, in which the largest plurality — 45% — wanted cuts alone.  Only 28% were willing to personally pay higher taxes.

Coburn does frame this as the only “plan that would ever make it out of Congress,” but is that so?  Republicans control the House and aren’t likely to vote for tax hikes at all.  Democrats control the Senate, but a large number of them have to face voters, and they have to be cognizant of the national mood — especially after the object lesson delivered to their colleagues in the midterms about voter anger.  Barack Obama might veto a budget without tax hikes, but producing that kind of a budget from Congress is more likely at this point than getting John Boehner to commit political seppuku by pushing through a tax increase even before fighting for spending cuts.

Coburn has done a great job in the Senate and is a serious, responsible conservative.  I’d like to see him fight for a cuts-alone budget for a while, which is what I thought he was doing by quitting the Gang of Six.  If Coburn couldn’t get them to go along with him on this level of compromise, then what the heck are they going to propose?


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NO!

Amjean on May 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Earlier this week, Tom Coburn quit the Gang of Six negotiations in the Senate, saying that the bipartisan working group on the budget wanted to go in a substantially different direction than Coburn would travel. Given that context, Coburn’s essay in today’s Washington Post prompts a question — just where exactly did the Gang of Six want to go? Coburn argues in his article that conservatives are going to have to swallow some tax hikes to get the spending cuts they want (via OTB):

Tax hikes without spending cuts.

Steve Eggleston on May 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

So where does Coburn disagree with the Gang of Six(now Five)?

Really Right on May 19, 2011 at 3:00 PM

Just say NO to tax increases.

Cut the damned spending tuit de suite.

CatoRenasci on May 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

Coburn has done a great job in the Senate and is a serious, responsible conservative.

He’s had fuzzy reasoning in the past. Didn’t say that Pelosi was a nice person?

parteagirl on May 19, 2011 at 3:03 PM

He ignores that tax increases suppress economic activity, which in turn suppresses tax revenue. You’d end up losing tax revenue in the longterm.

amerpundit on May 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM

This is just bizarre. Sen. Coburn, tax hikes are a non-starter. Next.

WarEagle01 on May 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM

I can’t believe what I’m reading. What poll says we don’t mind tax increases?

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Coburn argues in his article that conservatives are going to have to swallow some tax hikes to get the spending cuts they want….

I think we have swallowed ENOUGH due to this out of control government. You want to SAVE money? First, get rid of the fraud, waste, and abuse in your programs and do away with programs that are created in triplicate.
Next, stop sending money to every country in the world. We cannot afford your good intentions any longer…especially to those countries that wish us dead. Let them take care of their own. I’m tired of being the world’s ATM.
And finally, you have about forty million leaches living here that should no longer be allowed to draw benefits, free healthcare, take jobs, and DEMAND rights not afforded to them. They need to go back to their country and get in the back of the line. THAT final portion of leaches affects all facets of our lives……E-Verify and verfication of citizenship before you get benefits….I have to show my papers for everything, they should as well! When you have 10% unemployment, we don’t need illegal aliens over here to fill jobs!

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Someone may want to put some more effort into this than I have, but a rough back-of-the-envelope calculation shows that every American that files a tax form would have to come up with $7,000 per year in extra taxes, $7,000 per year in benefit cuts, or some combination therof for a period 20 years, just to payoff the current reported debt, not including interest over the period. I don’t think a lot of people understand just how bad off we are.

I’m not saying Coburn is exactly right, but we need to have a realistic plan to deal with this. If we cut whole federal departments, those employees move from the federal payroll to the unemployment ‘payroll’, etc.

I anticipate a rational solution includes plenty of cuts in spending, but also removal of the mortgage interest deduction, the child tax credit, etc., which are inded tax increases.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Let the democraps argue for spending cuts!

Why is Coburn doing it for them?!

All the GOP has to do is stand there while the enemy commits sepuku.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

spending cuts over revenue increases

He’s opting for calling it “revenue increases” rather than “tax increases”? Because as we know, some tax increases DECREASE revenue. I thought conservatives called things as they are. And how does this square with Boehner’s “no new taxes”?

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

So now the so-called conservative Republican Party insists we need to go for tax hikes, but we won’t hold the line on the debt ceiling, we won’t actually cut back (you know… an actual reduction) on what we are spending at all.

What we get for the Full Grovel is a slight reduction in the rate of increase which may vanish in the light of day the same way Boehner’s mythical cuts did.

What a deal. /

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Let the democraps argue for

spending cuts

tax hikes!

Why is Coburn doing it for them?!

All the GOP has to do is stand there while the enemy commits sepuku.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

(sheesh)

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

“Coburn does frame this as the only “plan that would ever make it out of Congress,””

Then I guess we are going to have to continue changing Congress until they get the message…

… aren’t we?

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

If Coburn couldn’t get them to go along with him on this level of compromise, then what the heck are they going to propose?

I’ve heard they found $32 million in unneeded federal spending.

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

I give up.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Wow, he’s one of the last guys I figured to go full RINO.
What IS in the water in DC?
No tax increase. Total spending cuts! Bloody spending Cuts!
Get rid of whole Federal Department sized cuts!

Iblis on May 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM

I’m always amazed how stupid the political-class is. Although maybe I should stop being amazed…

modnar on May 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM

When he voted for TARP I had questions about Coburn. Now he’s showing himself to be a RINO. Hey Tom, Do the right thing. No tax increase — spending cuts! Get the government off the people’s wallets!

Christian Conservative on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Dear God….Sen. Coburn has caught the dementia from Pelosi! The end of times is surely upon us.

joe btfsplk on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

“We have to raise taxes in order to pass spending cuts.”

“We have to pass the bill to know what’s in it.”

publiuspen on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Coburn: We have to raise taxes in order to pass spending cuts

Like He!! we do! What is WRONG with these people????

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

He’s opting for calling it “revenue increases” rather than “tax increases”? Because as we know, some tax increases DECREASE revenue. I thought conservatives called things as they are. And how does this square with Boehner’s “no new taxes”?

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

Wow….”revenue” and “investments”. We’re getting awfully business-sounding up on Capitol Hill nowadays, aren’t we?

I’ve that 200-some year old document, and not once does it use the word “investments”.

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Conservatives cannot trust Republicans.

flyfisher on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Please tell me, Coburn, that this is some stupid trial balloon joke.

mobydutch on May 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

No! STOP SPENDING YOU JACKASS!

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

They are brainless, spineless and USELESS!

dogsoldier on May 19, 2011 at 3:13 PM

He’s my Senator, but even *I* am puzzled by all of this. Here’s hoping Dr. Coburn gets some clarity rather quickly on the matter, or better explain to the rest of us why his view is correct.

itzWicks on May 19, 2011 at 3:13 PM

Alan Grayson Takes Spanking From Daily Kos Members For Juvenile Attack Of Sarah Palin

http://conservativeblogscentral.blogspot.com/2011/05/allen-grayson-takes-spanking-from-daily.html

Hey my link made The Wall Street Journal — looks like it would be good enough for hot air

Nearly Nobody on May 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Extremely Liberal Portland Oregon just shot down ALMOST every tax increase/Bond measure “to save the Children” this last Tuesday.

If the liberals in Portland Oregon can understand that raising taxes right now is bad, than you know the rest of the nation knows it too.

portlandon on May 19, 2011 at 3:15 PM

What we need is a big, big couch for these idiots–first,Nancy and Newt… and now, Coburn…..just go sit down and shut up… all of you!!!!!

mobydutch on May 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM

They just can’t quit spending…

d1carter on May 19, 2011 at 3:18 PM

I’ll reiterate what I said the other day: Moderates are death, and Coburn is a moderate.

greggriffith on May 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

The GOP will betray you

True_King

QFT

fossten on May 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

Coburn once referred to Pelosi, as a very nice lady.

I can see the whole “The Graduate” scenario now.

Coburn: Why Mrs.Pelosi, are you trying to seduce me?

Pelosi: Of course. You know what I want. TAX HIKES!!!

capejasmine on May 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

BS, Coburn. BS.

@#$%!@#$%#$@ GOP Republicans.

Midas on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Really? The polling I’ve seen indicates that voters don’t want tax hikes at all as a solution to the budget deficit.

The polling also indicates that the public doesn’t want spending cuts on any of things that, you know, cost money.

MJBrutus on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Um, no.

JammieWearingFool on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Really? The polling I’ve seen indicates that voters don’t want tax hikes at all as a solution to the budget deficit. The latest came this week from The Hill, in which the largest plurality — 45% — wanted cuts alone. Only 28% were willing to personally pay higher taxes.

You’re referring to the same voters who strongly supported the tax cuts of George Bush, despite the growing deficit and massive run-up in federal spending. This country’s fiscal sensibility falls somewhere along the lines of less than enlightened self interest, since paying higher taxes is far less expensive than having the country default on its debt.

Unfortunately, reverting to pre-2000 spending levels isn’t an easy thing to accomplish given the cost that people are convinced is necessary to wage the war on terrorism while maintaining a military presence deployed worldwide and supporting new entitlement programs such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit. I’d rather see the deficit reduced by spending cuts alone, but the hole is so deep that it doesn’t look realistic to many experts on Wall Street or at leading finance firms.

bayam on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Yes to cuts.

No to new taxes.

LEARN TO LIVE WITHIN YOUR MEANS WITH WHAT YOU ARE GIVEN LIKE THE REST OF US DO, CONGRESSLEECHES.

Good Lt on May 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

capejasmine on May 19, 2011 at 3:22 PM

Puhleeeeze pass the brain bleach, stat! Eeeeeeeeeewwwwwww

sicoit on May 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

If anyone in the Republican aisle had any damn cajones, they would let the Dems come try and peddle their tax hikes to the public. Then we could see exactly how ready the public is to see more of their paychecks (those that have jobs of course) taken from them.

search4truth on May 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

The GOP will betray you

True_King

I’m thinking this has to be made into a shirt.

Good Lt on May 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

I get it !
So in order to cure the drug addict, we need to give him more drugs so we can cut down the drug use.

What kind of drugs are you smoking dumb *ss ?

ColdWarrior57 on May 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Then I guess we are going to have to continue changing Congress until they get the message…

… aren’t we?

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Why f-ing bother? What’s that definition of insanity again?

There’s only one kind of change that’s going to get the message across.

Midas on May 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Coburn continually demonstrates he’s out of touch with where the voters are. I hope he gets replaced sooner rather than later.

Laddy on May 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

This is why Obama will have a chance of winning in 2012.

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Coburn has McCain disease.

He should have left years ago.

The funny thing is this hypocrite is a “term limits” supporter.

How long has he been there?

20 freaking years.

tetriskid on May 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Here’s an idea… Lets tax every single member of congress 90% of their total wealth that was gleaned on the backs of the taxpayers.

or

Before we talk about raising taxes, lets collect taxes from the federal employees who have not yet paid their taxes.

And while we are at it, put Charlie Rangel in jail.

kringeesmom on May 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

what part of NO is Coburn not understanding?

exceller on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

In politics, if there is no pressuring to move the puck toward the opponents net, it will just move in the opposite direction toward your net. Conservatives should always be aggressively pressuring to move the tax code toward the flat tax because the Democrats then need to defend the status quo and just look radical if they want to make it more “progressive”. The House should be voting on this every week and let the parasites keep voting it down. They wouldn’t even be suggesting tax hikes in the midst of that.

Buddahpundit on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Unfortunately, reverting to pre-2000 spending levels isn’t an easy thing to accomplish given the cost that people are convinced is necessary to wage the war on terrorism while maintaining a military presence deployed worldwide and supporting new entitlement programs such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit. I’d rather see the deficit reduced by spending cuts alone, but the hole is so deep that it doesn’t look realistic to many experts on Wall Street or at leading finance firms.

bayam on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Nice strawman, there.

Defense spending isn’t the thorn in our side. The hole is deep, *and* it *can* be done by spending cuts alone. You know, just like you do at home when you’re not earning enough to pay your bills. The solution doesn’t include going into your boss’s office and simply telling him that you demand a 10% increase in pay because you’re living outside your means. Your boss would first laugh at you, then wonder about your sanity and probably then wonder if you shouldn’t be fired.

The answer is to cut back the outflows until you are not spending more than you make. Sometimes in addition you start having garage sales and selling the crap you accumulated that you shouldn’t have bought in the first place.

The answer does *not* include demanding more money from your boss as if you own the place.

Midas on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I’d be willing to agree to some tax increases for real, serious spending cuts.

I’d suggest the following;

A windfall entertainment tax. The fact that someone like James Cameron or Tom Hanks can earns tens of millions for fluff films clearly isn’t “fair” in these tough times. 100% of all “entertainment” earnings over $250K per year.

A government pension tax. With the hit that the private sector took to its 401ks due to to the failed Pelosi/Reid policies was a serious one, and government workers need to learn to “share” the pain. 100% for all benefits worth more then twice SS.

A tort tax. Clearly, with the working men and women of America barely making ends meet, it is time to make sure that the newly wealthy pay their “part. 90% of all lawyer fees, and any awards over $100k.

18-1 on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Coburn’s sense of timing is as ‘good’ as Gingrich’.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

This is typical insane inside the beltway ‘logic’. How soon before the Iranians get THE BOMB and drop it on DC? Not soon enough, IMO.

JimP on May 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

This is the kind of garbage that comes out of closed door negotiations. Clear the calendar and let’s rumble in public. If Coburn is this weak, imagine how easy less conservative Republicans will fold. They have a Debt “Ceiling” as hostage. Rather than saying to the press,”At some point we will, o9f course have to raise it.” how about, “We will, of course, raise the debt limit as soon as the Senate identifies $4 Trillion in cuts it is willing to part with over the next 10 years with no increase in taxes and a balanced budget amendment. the ball’s in their court.”

cartooner on May 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Go ahead. Raise taxes, I dare you. Of course, any Republican who does can consider what career he wants to pursue in the (shrinking) private sector in the near future.

hachiban on May 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Who said we don’t need Paul Ryan in the Senate?

Stayright on May 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Unfortunately, reverting to pre-2000 spending levels isn’t an easy thing to accomplish given the cost that people are convinced is necessary to wage the war on terrorism while maintaining a military presence deployed worldwide…
bayam on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

For the record, we could reduce the defense budget to zero, and we would still be running a deficit.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

He’s had fuzzy reasoning in the past. Didn’t say that Pelosi was a nice person?

parteagirl on May 19, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Well, he served as the secret bagman/advisor in the Ensign negotiations with his mistress’s husband. That was disturbing to me.

a capella on May 19, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Nope, nada, nyet, no way no how

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 3:37 PM

I knew Soros bought Republicans too….

adamsmith on May 19, 2011 at 3:39 PM

There is one thing that these politicians suffering from “DC-itis” tend to forget. They can choose to stop the spending NOW or be forced to stop the spending AT A LATER DATE!

Sooner or later, the spending will have to stop simply because the credit card will run out and the entitlement programs will crash on their own. Politicians (GOP and Dems) can continue to deny the obvious but cannot delay the inevitable.

And when that day comes – as it has come for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) – I wouldn’t want to be a politician in Washington, DC, running to escape the pitchforks.

TheRightMan on May 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Barack Obama might veto a budget without tax hikes,

I hope he does… right before the election goes into full swing!

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Sooner or later, the spending will have to stop simply because the credit card will run out and the entitlement programs will crash on their own. Politicians (GOP and Dems) can continue to deny the obvious but cannot delay the inevitable.

And when that day comes – as it has come for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain (PIIGS) – I wouldn’t want to be a politician in Washington, DC, running to escape the pitchforks.

TheRightMan on May 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

The problem is, the day hasn’t come for the PIIGS – they are still getting bailout deals in return for austerity plans that will never be implemented. They will take out other, more stable countries when they actually do go.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

No more money for these spending addicted junkies until they can prove they have kicked the habit. Spending cuts first to show their sincerity. A tax hike only if all of the proceeds went to pay down our debt.

It’s no different than illegal immigration – enforce the current laws and get serious about border security before talking about “changing” the current immigration laws. It’s not the laws, its the failure to enforce the laws.

iamsaved on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

How about a grass roots startup for a constitutional convention to repeal the income tax and the ability of congress to pass any tax or levy, unless approved by three fourths of the states. states can call for a constitutional convention with parameters it is not prohibited by the constitution. and about two thirds of the states or more have the initiative available to its citizens

kraftykeltic on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

It’s as if the federal budget is the Sun, rising and setting, with people worshipping it and cursing it, without any conviction they can do anything to CONTROL it. It’s just so big. People look at it in awe. It’s a force of nature. It is what it is. And no one will do anything about it.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 3:46 PM

I anticipate a rational solution includes plenty of cuts in spending, but also removal of the mortgage interest deduction, the child tax credit, etc., which are inded tax increases.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:07 PM

That would crush the middle class.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

How about a grass roots startup for a constitutional convention to repeal the income tax

kraftykeltic on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

How about we don’t raise the debt ceiling, and live within our means?

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

How about a grass roots startup for a constitutional convention to repeal the income tax and the ability of congress to pass any tax or levy, unless approved by three fourths of the states.

kraftykeltic on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

The problem with a CC is that you can’t limit it to one subject. I’d rather go bankrupt than lose the Bill of Rights.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

That would crush the middle class.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

The middle class is toast either way.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

If Coburn couldn’t get them to go along with him on this level of compromise, then what the heck are they going to propose?

VAT

tommylotto on May 19, 2011 at 3:50 PM

The problem is, the day hasn’t come for the PIIGS – they are still getting bailout deals in return for austerity plans that will never be implemented. They will take out other, more stable countries when they actually do go.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

I agree with you, Vashta. The problem, though, is that when the day comes for us there will be NO ONE to bail us out.

TheRightMan on May 19, 2011 at 3:52 PM

No! Sure sounds like Liberal speak to me! They just don’t get it do they? Did I say no?

GFW on May 19, 2011 at 3:53 PM

Cut spending first and then, maybe, raise taxes.

After all, we KNOW the federal government has the ability to raise taxes, we just haven’t seen them show the ability to cut spending yet.

PackerBronco on May 19, 2011 at 3:54 PM

“Coburn does frame this as the only “plan that would ever make it out of Congress,””
Then I guess we are going to have to continue changing Congress until they get the message…

… aren’t we?

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 3:08 PM

Exactly

That’s why I’m praying Palin runs and announces a roster of conservatives so to speak…we need to get this bunch out or we better get armed so we aren’t left to the mercy of the roving bandits and thieves that will emerge when it all comes crashing down.

CCRWM on May 19, 2011 at 3:54 PM

How about a grass roots startup for a constitutional convention to repeal the income tax and the ability of congress to pass any tax or levy, unless approved by three fourths of the states. states can call for a constitutional convention with parameters it is not prohibited by the constitution. and about two thirds of the states or more have the initiative available to its citizens

kraftykeltic on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

This would be good, but most states are broke as well and sucking on the FedGov teat just as much as the FSA. The market will shut all this down sooner or later. Why? Because money is work, and there are a limited number of people with a limited amount of time who can work.

j_galt on May 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

Sometimes Coburn acts like a dick.

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 3:55 PM

The problem with a CC is that you can’t limit it to one subject. I’d rather go bankrupt than lose the Bill of Rights.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

I’m curious. Which rights in the bill of rights do you think we still have?

j_galt on May 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

You’re referring to the same voters who strongly supported the tax cuts of George Bush, despite the growing deficit and massive run-up in federal spending. This country’s fiscal sensibility falls somewhere along the lines of less than enlightened self interest . . ..

bayam on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

I admit, they are idiots since they voted for Obama – which demonstrates complete economic ignorance, since it was clear he was a spender and had idiotic fiscal ideas.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

This recent episode of Coburn’s followed by the Op-Ed reeks of political theater. He walks out claiming to be outraged about something or other. He then writes op-ed saying we’re going to have to raise taxes.

Next week they will announce some agreement that Coburn will sign on to and claim it’s the best we could get from democrats and it will have a ton of tax increases.

They think they can trick conservatives into supporting tax increases through this political theater. The problem is, it will work on a bunch.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 3:59 PM

It was the ability to compromise, accept painful choices, and make common cause with the Liberals that made the Progressive Conservative party of Canada. . . .extinct.

Emperor Norton on May 19, 2011 at 4:05 PM

That would crush the middle class.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Middle class in the 1950s (when all of our potential global competitors were bombed to ash) meant a 1500 sguare foot house, one car, maybe a television, a mom at home taking care of the kids, dad maybe had some college, and the expectation that the kids would go to college and would be better off than the parents.

Now, middle class is two working parents with kids in daycare when not being indoctrinated in public schools, a 3000 square foot house with two mortages (one cash out for a swell vacation or a boat), multiple cars, at least one big screen television, video games, maxed out credit cards, and the realization that a college degree is almost equal to a high school degree from 50 years ago. Given that Europe and Japan rebuilt their factories, and the third world has built their own and have workforces who will gladly work for one fifth of the income westerners expect, it becomes apparent that something has to give. We borrowed the past 25 years of middle class lifestyle.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM

We borrowed the past 25 years of middle class lifestyle.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 4:06 PM

Yep. That’s the truth. I’d go so far as saying we borrowed practically all of our prosperity since ww2.

j_galt on May 19, 2011 at 4:09 PM

He ignores that tax increases suppress economic activity, which in turn suppresses tax revenue. You’d end up losing tax revenue in the longterm.

amerpundit on May 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Of all the conservative articles of faith, this has got to be the one that’s been debunked the most frequently. Yet I still see it here nearly every day. Funny stuff.

crr6 on May 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

There’s no way the American public is going to go for raising taxes until AFTER the waste and abuse in government spending is dealt with. It’s just not gonna happen.

‘Course, they can go ahead and do it anyway. But they’ll be looking for work come next election. Watch and see.

Murf76 on May 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I’m curious. Which rights in the bill of rights do you think we still have?

j_galt on May 19, 2011 at 3:56 PM

For me, all of them except the tenth.

Vashta.Nerada on May 19, 2011 at 4:14 PM

Of all the conservative articles of faith, this has got to be the one that’s been debunked the most frequently. Yet I still see it here nearly every day. Funny stuff.

crr6 on May 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I’m curious to hear your wise economic policy….how exactly does taxation stimulate economic growth, Einstein?

search4truth on May 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

Of all the conservative articles of faith, this has got to be the one that’s been debunked the most frequently. Yet I still see it here nearly every day. Funny stuff.

crr6 on May 19, 2011 at 4:12 PM

I’ve never seen it debunked here once. I see idiots like you pushing talking points, but not one of them is ever backed up by any solid logic.

fossten on May 19, 2011 at 4:27 PM

I am for cutting the size of the federal govt down to borderline anarchy, but even I think there is going to be some tax hikes to get rid of the debt, and it will take years to do it. I don’t think there is any realistic scenario where cuts alone will take care of our problems, and that is damn depressing.

I am also interested in scenarios to get around the federal employee/ unemployment paradox we will have. Where are these folks going to work?

We are in for some hard times folks.

Jim T on May 19, 2011 at 4:28 PM

I am for cutting the size of the federal govt down to borderline anarchy, but even I think there is going to be some tax hikes to get rid of the debt, and it will take years to do it. I don’t think there is any realistic scenario where cuts alone will take care of our problems, and that is damn depressing.

I am also interested in scenarios to get around the federal employee/ unemployment paradox we will have. Where are these folks going to work?

We are in for some hard times folks.

Jim T on May 19, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Your naivete is impressively astounding. It’s amazing how many ‘conservatives’ swallow this premise without thinking.

I just have one question:

When was the LAST time a tax increase was applied to the debt, rather than just being spent before the Presidential ink on the bill was dry?

fossten on May 19, 2011 at 4:32 PM

Coburn – we’re a little brighter than flim flam artists like you think. First enact cuts so that returning to Clinton era tax levels will balance the budget. Then you can raise taxes to Clinton era levels if they include a provision that the taxes are automatically cut if spending rises.

The problem is we can not trust Congress. So any deal really needs to be put in the Constitution, or we’ll just be screwed within two years.

Over50 on May 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM

Et tu Tom Coburn?

Personally – I have no problem with higher taxes for myself – I TRUST the GOP to eliminate funding for illegal abortions by PPP in the same legislation.

I’m willing to pay a bit extra in taxes to see the NPR defunded too – and I’m sure the GOP will handle that for me.

Extra taxes on me are like water off a duck’s back – I’ll be all smiley happy face when paying them because the GOP will also get rid of funding to educate African men on how to wash their tally wackers.

Extra taxes is PEANUTS for me as long as the NEA is abolished and no longer spending my money on funding artists to make Jesus statues out of cow manure and urine.

Extra Taxes? Pffft! I laugh at them! And then I laugh again! HA HA!! Because I know the GOP is going to also ensure that Obama doesn’t TRANSFER BILLIONS to the Muslim Brotherhood like he promised he would in today’s speech.

Folks – we JUST HAVE TO TRUST THE GOP and support them when they say these taxes are a necessary trade off to get these programs eliminated!!

(hehe … yeah right. Tom Coburn – you and the Republicans pass your tax increase – without getting rid of these phony spending programs – and you’re sunk in 2012. Oh wait – you already ARE SUNK for 2012!)

HondaV65 on May 19, 2011 at 4:33 PM

What part of NO do you not understand, Tom?

Now go away.

stenwin77 on May 19, 2011 at 4:36 PM

NO!

Amjean on May 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Not just No-but HELL NO!
*channeling John Boehner*

annoyinglittletwerp on May 19, 2011 at 4:43 PM

Unfortunately, reverting to pre-2000 spending levels isn’t an easy thing to accomplish given the cost that people are convinced is necessary to wage the war on terrorism while maintaining a military presence deployed worldwide and supporting new entitlement programs such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

bayam on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Wow what a coincidence. All the spending you hate is from the people you hate.

If you recall, we had all this and all the Bush tax cuts the year the Democrats retook Congress and the deficit was 150 billion- more than 10 times lower than the Obama deficits.

Chuck Schick on May 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

I am for cutting the size of the federal govt down to borderline anarchy, but even I think there is going to be some tax hikes to get rid of the debt.

Jim T on May 19, 2011 at 4:28 PM

Let’s assume for a moment that this tax increase is being used to pay down the actual national debt – that’s complete fantasy, of course – but in honor of Walt Disney – let’s just pretend that it will be …

What is a tax increase? Does a 1% tax increase on citizens result in a 1% INCREASE in tax revenues?

I’m going REAL SLOW HERE FOR YA! ;)

No – increasing a tax rate DOES NOT increase revenue that could potentially be used to pay down the debt. In fact – very often – raising taxes depresses the economy enough to actually LOWER TAX REVENUES going into federal coffers.

Over the last 60 years – we have collected (yearly) an average of 17 percent of the GDP in taxes – no matter what tax law was. Sometimes we collect less – like as low as 15%. On ONE occasion – we collected 20 % (the year 2000). That’s ONE YEAR out of the last 60 years.

So tax rates – and tax laws – have little effect on tax revenues. They can – and do – depress the economy – and they can also (if low enough) GROW the economy.

And that is how you INCREASE federal revenues – by growing the economy. If the GDP goes up – then even 15% of that GDP is a much higher actual number of dollars going to the treasury. If you want to use that to pay down the debt.

But a better option?

I told you we can reliably collect about 17% of the GDP in taxes. Yet – we are SPENDING more than 22% of that GDP every year – I think around 25% actually.

If the feds could only spend – oh – say 15% of GDP – then everything collected in taxes above that 15% would be money you could pay down the debt with – and very quickly too.

The problem is – the GOP’s balanced budget amendment “locks in” deficit spending by saying the government can spend no more than 20% of GDP. Well – that’s about three percent HIGHER than our tax revenues. No – I don’t believe the crap in that same amendment that says the government can spend no more than it takes in – because the government always has to make a budget before they know how much in taxes they’re going to get. Budget is due before October – but taxes aren’t due for 7 months after that – in April. That’s why the GOP’s current Balanced Budget Amendment is a complete Ruling Class sham.

Well – it’s not the only reason it’s a sham – but one of the many.

HondaV65 on May 19, 2011 at 4:47 PM

And here I thought Coburn was quittig because he was being too ‘radical-rightwing’ for the Crooked Six Gang of Six but now it looks like he is too addicted to frittering away our hard earned money to act responsibly for once in his career.

Dusty on May 19, 2011 at 4:52 PM

If you recall, we had all this and all the Bush tax cuts the year the Democrats retook Congress and the deficit was 150 billion- more than 10 times lower than the Obama deficits.

Chuck Schick on May 19, 2011 at 4:46 PM

Yes, but you realize that Obama cannot be held responsible for anything. After all, he is the first president in history to have inherited any problems, any budget issues, any foriegn policy issues, from previous administrations. So, all of Obama’s spending HAD TO BE DONE. Therefore, he cannot be blamed for deficits. Whereas the evil Bush can be blamed for defecits b/c everything Bush did was a choice that he alone made of his own free will. Unlike Obama who was required by events to spend all of that money.

Monkeytoe on May 19, 2011 at 4:52 PM

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