Is it time for the GOP to reconsider its position on tax increases?

posted at 11:45 am on April 4, 2012 by Morgen Richmond

For all practical purposes the general election campaign officially kicked off yesterday with the Romney sweep, and the President’s speech on the Ryan budget. This is likely to be the defining debate of the 2012 campaign, and the President is clearly looking to cement the image of the GOP as the party of the 1% as early as possible. Guy Benson deserves a medal for having the fortitude to respond point-by-point to the President’s remarks, which were incredibly dishonest even for him. (My temple was throbbing after reading only half-way through Obama’s speech).

But at the risk of being banished after Ed returns from vacation, I think there is one key issue where the GOP is making a tactical mistake in conceding ground to the President, and that is the insistence on ruling out any tax increases as part of a comprehensive budget reform deal. Now before you write me off as just another RINO, I’ll hold up my track record as a conservative activist against anyone. And as a successful business owner in California, I deal first-hand with the challenges of one of the nation’s most onerous tax and regulatory regimes.

But I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy, particularly within the framework of a budget deal which would include a major re-structuring of federal entitlement programs. I get the arguments. That a pro-growth approach of lowering rates, and eliminating deductions and loopholes, would actually be the most effective means of generating revenue in the long run, by expanding the tax base. I can also appreciate that from a political perspective it makes sense to stake out an initial bargaining position as far to the right as can be reasonably defended. And the Ryan plan is reasonable, by any fair assessment, considering the enormity of the fiscal imbalances it seeks to redress.

But regardless of how effective or reasonable the plan may be, it won’t make one iota of difference without a Republican president in place to enact it. And this is the mistake I think the GOP is poised to make, in handing the President a weapon he will use over and over again between now and November. To distract the public from the seriousness of the problem, and from the fact that he has no credible plan to deal with it. That the GOP is planning yet another giveaway to the 1%, at the expense of the poor, the elderly, and the sick.

Yes, this is class warfare, yes this is partisan demagoguery…and let’s face it, there is a better than even chance that it’s going to work. Which I find particularly frustrating, because given what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally deal with entitlements, personally, as a member of the near-1%, I would at least grudgingly accept a moderate tax increase knowing that we’ve set the nation on a sustainable path. Further, I would gladly – enthusiastically! – support the possibility of a moderate tax increase as part of the 2012 GOP budget platform, as long as it’s clear that this would only be on the table as part of a comprehensive deal which included entitlement reform, along the lines proposed by Ryan. To not only eliminate this issue as a diversion, but also to expose the fact that the President has no credible plan for sustaining the entitlement programs short of massive, across the board tax increases.

I’m not suggesting we scrap the Ryan tax reforms, just that we consider adding a little revenue from higher wage earners, or least a placeholder to do so. Just something to allow our nominee to credibly argue that when it comes to restoring the fiscal prosperity of our nation, everything is on the table. Because frankly, it should be.

Apostasy, I know. So go ahead and let me have it in the comments, but at least consider the merits of the argument. Are we really willing to jeopardize our future freedom and prosperity over the principle that we will never, ever under any circumstances accept a tax increase? This seems like folly to me, and I shudder to think what the fiscal outlook will look like if the status quo continues for another four years.

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Not just NO, But Hell NO!!!

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM

No.

Electrongod on April 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Nice foreshadowing of the general election campaign. Romney will be Romney, and cons (stands for conned) will be outrageously outraged.

james23 on April 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Is it time for the GOP to reconsider its position on tax increases?

In a word, NO

That was easy. Next.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM

How about NO? The effective strategy to combat the Liberal Demagoguery is to have an effective Messenger delivering the correct Message. Conservatism wins EVERY.TIME.IT.IS.DELIVERED. You just have to have the courage and the ability to get the message across to the populace. Cowering and caving to the liberal media has been done before, and it’s not a winning strategy.

search4truth on April 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM

What exactly is their position? I can think of plenty of Republican tax increases…. They just seem to be for smaller increases than the Dems.

jeffn21 on April 4, 2012 at 11:48 AM

tax increases = inevitable
spending decreases = ZOMG R U OUT OF UR MIND WTFTFTFTFTFTFTFTF

Jeddite on April 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Line Item; Morgen Richmond – No Revenue Write Off – Another RINO

jaydee_007 on April 4, 2012 at 11:49 AM

You do remember how Boehner’s promise worked out, don’t you?

I’m sure a goodly number of people on our side would be willing to revisit tax rates if there was any chance in hell that actual fiscal cuts were part of the deal. Since we have never, ever seen anything like a meaningful cut, or something crazy like a balanced budget amendment, what kind of morons would we be to trust the GOP to have flexibility on the revenue side in their toolbox?

TexasDan on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 AM

How about we cut some federal spending and regulations so the economy can fix itself?

Cinematicfilm on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I am 100% for increased taxes on the almost half of Americans who pay no taxes.

astonerii on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

No.

Taxes are too high. Spending is too high. Shrink the government, starting in January 2013 after President Romney is elected.

Khun Joe on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Get out. We give them more and they spend more, the end.

echosyst on April 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

sure why not. The gop at is stands is the dem lite version of everything else. Might as well go all in and give in on taxes too.

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

I am 100% for increased taxes on the almost half of Americans who pay no taxes.

astonerii on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

I stand corrected; I AM for some increased taxation, then!

search4truth on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Let’s be blunt: Taxes are an assault on economic Liberty.

They take away some people’s right to their property and the Liberty to do with it as they see fit.

And at the bottom end, taxation’s wealth redistribution is meant to grow dependency on a big Oppressive government.

It destroys freedom at both ends.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Making entitlement reform deals with the Democrats and using a tax increase as a bargaining chip reminds me too strongly of the tale of the scorpion and the frog.

So, no. If we make the necessary reforms, the punitive taxes they propose will no longer be required.

KingGold on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

No.

We’ve been down this lane before.

Cut spending first.

itsspideyman on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

“Tax the 1%” slogan will get Obama re-elected.

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Don’t shoot me but =maybe.

I say this because-

do any of you remember the debate where Brett Bair asked the candidates if they could get REAL budget cuts at a 9 to one ratio and they all said no.

My thought at the time was if you could get a real 9 to 1 ratio
that would be a good deal.

I know all republican candidates must push for no tax increases but STILL.

now i know the definition of budget cuts is open to interpretation but if a real good ratio could be achieved-who knows

gerry-hoping not to be banned

gerrym51 on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

In any “comprehensive” deal, the taxe raises come into being, but the cuts mysteriously fail to appear.

That you do not recognize that removes anything you say, now or in the future, from serious consideration.

Irritable Pundit on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

The simple fact, proved time and time again, that tax increases are never used to pay down debt, they are always spent on new stupid programs.

Time to be less stupid – no tax increases, massive budget cuts only.

Rebar on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

And as a successful business owner in California, I deal first-hand with the challenges of one of the nation’s most onerous tax and regulatory regimes

As a small business owner in Texas whose corporate taxes are already too high, NOOOOOOOOOOO.
You’ve obviously been in California too long, it’s going to your head. I know how that works, I’ve lived there.

Susanboo on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

And people wonder why Mitt will lose the general. If his supporters are talking about ceding the tax issue its already over.

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

I think this post is 100% pure comment bait.

backwoods conservative on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

So you agree with these assaults on economic Liberty?

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Tax increase — feed the beast …. That will work … NOT!!!

jlemieu1 on April 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

The reality is, to pay for the debt we already owe, not including the unfunded liabilities moving forward, taxes will need to be increase on everyone. Let’s be honest, given the level of our government spending, the lowest tax bracket should be somewhere around 35%. The LOWEST.

Sadly, Americans don’t have the stomach for this. We were sold a bill of goods 70 years ago that sounded too good to be true. Guess what…

Hootie on April 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Yes, but only if they accept a constitutional amendment to restructure Medicare. They never will.

The Count on April 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Are we really willing to jeopardize our future freedom and prosperity over the principle that we will never, ever under any circumstances accept a tax increase?

This is a bogus argument. Tax increases will only be used for ever-more spending. We have an economy that can’t grow. Now you want to accept the idea of taking money that is needed to fuel jobs and growth and hand it over to the government to be squandered. The government needs to shrink and our economy needs to grow.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

The simple fact, proved time and time again, that tax increases are never used to pay down debt, they are always spent on new stupid programs.

Time to be less stupid Insane – no tax increases, massive budget cuts only.

Rebar on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Sorry, I had to fix that for you

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 4, 2012 at 11:56 AM

Time to be less stupid – no tax increases, massive budget cuts only.

Rebar on April 4, 2012 at 11:54 AM

or even less stupid. tax CUTS. Bush’s tax cuts showed increased rev coming into the gov. Of course the liberals in the gop and dem parties then spent that increase as fast as they could. But the fact remains the tax cuts produced more rev.

Of course I don’t expect anything like that form liberals like Mitt where the thought of tax cuts increasing rev is beyond thier ability to comprehend

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

You left out the most important argument against tax increases: the government has proven repeatedly that it can’t be trusted to use an increase in revenue responsibly, regardless of which party’s in charge. As P. J. O’Rourke puts it, “Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.”

tomwinfl on April 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

But I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy, particularly within the framework of a budget deal which would include a major re-structuring of federal entitlement programs

Because, otherwise all the left has to do is explode spending which they can then use to pressure the GOP to raise taxes in a reactive measure. It’s sort of like giving your enemy extra artillery with which to pound you, and then later scrambling around trying to figure out what to do when you are getting pounded.

But that could never happen right? Oh wait…

Of course, the GOP has helped provide the enemy some of that artillery. We will never learn.

kjl291 on April 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

This is like a late submission for April Fool’s Day, right?

“I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy.”

Buddy, maybe we can forgive you because you’re from California, let’s start with this:

1) Raising taxes doesn’t raise tax revenues. Why? Because it reduces the velocity of money in the pool. There is less income to tax as a result.

2) Politicians have never met the money you give them that they can’t spend twice.

Mull those two points over, and work to keep your business afloat in California and don’t post on this conservative web site again until you’ve really embraced the principles of small government.

beatcanvas on April 4, 2012 at 11:57 AM

I just found out one more thing. tax increase in the title of a thread is more powerful than Palin.

lol

gerrym51 on April 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I would accept higher taxes if there was a massive act of decentralization that would come with it. I mean massive. Several federal departments, gone. But that’s not going to happen. As long as higher tax rates are talked about in the context of the federal government’s ever expanding reach, then I’ll never believe that those pretty, sparkling, new tax dollars would be used to fix out structural issues. Rather they’d go to a million Solyndras. If we don’t massively decentralize in the next few years we will fall off the economic cliff. We will fall into the death cycle of austerity and tax increases, which will bread riots and revolution. The only hope we have is massive decentralization, not higher taxes.

Weight of Glory on April 4, 2012 at 11:58 AM

I agree that the GOP should reconsider its position on tax increases – starting with the EITC.

Vashta.Nerada on April 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM

While we’re at it, perhaps the GOP could reconsider its position on personal responsibility and liberty too, eh Morgen?

Jeddite on April 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I love the lottery (I don’t play). It ensures that lower income and welfare recipients pay their “fair share” of taxes.

Bevan on April 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Morgen, time and again polls show the majority of voters want spending cuts over tax increases. I don’t know where you are coming from with this need to increase taxes and waste more money.

Ta111 on April 4, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I’m all for the Buffet tax.

Specifically, a tax on Warren Buffet and him alone. Want to make sure he doesn’t pay less taxes than his secretary.

HumpBot Salvation on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Hootie: Given the level of our government spending, maybe.

Why not CONTROL the SPENDING, then?

If both parties agree that the tax structure required to actually pay for our current spending is not politically acceptable (i.e., the American people are against it), why can they not see that cutting spending is the only alternative?

Scott H on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

People living well below the poverty level should not be paying taxes. A lot of elderly are just scrapping by with the cola’s they receive not covering yearly inflation.

Blake on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I am 100% for increased taxes on the almost half of Americans who pay no taxes.

astonerii on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Even that does not require raising tax rates. It just requires eliminating the myriad of “credits” and “deductions” that oftentimes not only reduce the tax burden to zero, but many times actually causes people to get a “refund” of taxes they never even paid.

Shump on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

There is NEVER a time for higher taxes!!
Cut spending instead!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I’m all for increasing the revenues – as long as the expenses are decreased by the same (or higher) amount.

Archivarix on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Yes, but only if they accept a constitutional amendment to restructure Medicare. They never will.

so if they would go for it. to do a comprehensive big reformation of government will nedd

tax and entitlement adjustments thats were the money is

gerrym51 on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

“Tax the 1%” slogan will get Obama re-elected.

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

….says the charter member of the 1% of the dumbest Americans evah!

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

But at the risk of being banished after Ed returns from vacation

Bring back Ed. Bring back sanity.

Sorry, Ed. All your vacation time for 2012 has been cancelled. We’re losing the battle with bloggers like this filling in.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

Get out. We give them more and they spend more, the end.

echosyst on April 4, 2012 at 11:52 AM

THIS!^^^ Negativo…!!!

Congratulations on your first and last HotAir post. j/k

ShainS on April 4, 2012 at 12:01 PM

what utter horsecrap. Have those members of the republican party like morgan moved so far to the left they they think government is aforce for good in the world?

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM

But I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy…

I won’t speak for the party, only myself. If raising taxes is necessary, I’m all for it…after you convince me you’ve made all the cuts that can be made. But congress offering real budget cuts is like Lucy and the football. Every time you think you have a deal, they yank it from you. The taxes are always raised, the cuts are never made.

Cut first, then we’ll talk.

rogaineguy on April 4, 2012 at 12:02 PM

I’m not suggesting we scrap the Ryan tax reforms, just that we consider adding a little revenue from higher wage earners, or least a placeholder to do so. Just something to allow our nominee to credibly argue that when it comes to restoring the fiscal prosperity of our nation, everything is on the table. Because frankly, it should be.

No, because every single time this is tried we get stuck with the taxes but the other provisions get scrapped. First pass and implement the reform and then we can revisit tax increases later.

PatientWolf on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Also, remember that democrats LOVE taling about deficits (except maybe right at election time). There are two main ways to attack deficits – raise taxes and/or cut spending. The Ds are all about the tax increases, and they know the spending cuts will never materialize.

Thus, the democrats have zero reason to worry about running up deficits (and the republicans ain’t so hot on the issue, either).

kjl291 on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Another pundit that doesn’t understand the non-linear nature of tax revenues versus tax-rates

phreshone on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

It is not that we are taxing too little.

We are spending too much.

If we ran our household budgets the way Congress runs the Nation’s, we’d all be living in a derelict van down by the river long ago.

Congress should appropriate what is Constitutionally mandated to appropriate. And if there are shortfalls, then cut more.

All the rest…is the domain of the states….or localities.

Unless we all grasp this simple notion, and fast, there will be no United States of America, more taxes or no taxes.

We will be Greece. Or Zimbabwe. Or worse.

coldwarrior on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Tweek the position on taxes? Sure while they’re at it they may as well tweek they’re position on life. /

Bmore on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

If you think giving more crack to the crack addict because the alternative of the pain he needs to go through to get sober is a good idea, then you might be a Democrat.

Good Lt on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

The problem with agreeing to tax increases is that we have seen time and again that the dems will take the increase but not actually cut spending. It would be incredibly disheartening to the base for the GOP to play Charlie Brown to the dems Lucy and the tax football.

But you do have a point that this is handing the dems a stick in an election year.

I think a better response than “Sure, let’s raise taxes” would be a call for tax reform. Say that the president has been using taxes to punish his enemies and reward his friends. Further, the GOP won’t let Obama operate a Chicago style payout machine with American tax payer money (e.g. Solyndra) or as a slush fund for bureaucrats (e.g. GSA Las Vegas party.

But rather the GOP should agree that comprehensive tax reform does make sense to get the government out of the business of shaping the economy through taxes and picking winners/losers. Then every time Obama brings up taxes, bring up tax reform with the government limited to a certain portion of GDP on spending and a unbiased tax code to raise enough to pay for that spending. If Americans have to live within a budget, why shouldn’t the government.

Nothing will actually happen in an election year, but it starts the ball rolling for next year, blunts the president’s attacks and opens new lines of attacks on the president.

yetanotherjohn on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

“Tax the 1%” slogan will get Obama re-elected.

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

This is the kind of math Democrats use to make their arguments.

Well duh, 99% of something is CLEARLY a majority. That doesn’t mean a majority of the people believe taxing the 1% will bring in even close to the necessary revenue to close deficit.

Majority of the voters on in the 99%, I still read that comment and laugh.

dernst2 on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Just something to allow our nominee to credibly argue that when it comes to restoring the fiscal prosperity of our nation, everything is on the table. Because frankly, it should be.

No, it shouldn’t. There’s no reason to put things on the table that won’t help fix the problem. Why not be willing to discuss confiscating all of the real estate owned by anyone worth more than $1 million? How about we decree that anyone with a net worth of more than $1 million must turn over everything to the government? Well, we want to be able to say that everything is on the table!

If we go down this route, we’ve already ceded defeat. Don’t accept the left’s premise. Even with an out-of-whack system in which half of the people don’t pay any federal income taxes, revenue is not the issue at all. And raising more revenue is not the solution. It’s not even a tiny part of the solution.

Shump on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

It doesn’t matter how much money you give government. They won’t use it to pay down the debt. They will simply find more places to waste it. The only solution is to keep them on a tight budget.

Cut government regulation and turn the entrepreneurs loose. The only way out of this mess is to grow out of it, and that means get rid of the Socialist-in-Chief.

Tax increases are worse than useless.

hachiban on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Tax the 1%” slogan will get Obama re-elected.

Majority of the voters are in the 99%

liberal4life on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Tax cuts for the 99% will get Mitt elected. If he were smart enough to use it. Strangly I think Mitt buys into the 99/1 worldview.

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Try saying that to the 50% who don’t pay ANY taxes, Morgen. Here’s the solution. Cut out entitlements. Period.

Taxes are another way to enslave the populace. Just because you have a business in CA whose tax laws you refer to as “onerous” entitles you to just about nothing. Think fair share, Morgen. Think slaughter the middle class and the 1 % with more taxes and see if that pays the bills.

Have you actually done the math, Morgen?

DevilsPrinciple on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Morgen, allow me to make a point. In the US, income tax revenue in the modern era has generally ranged between 14% and 19% of GDP. Currently, federal spending is approximately 25% of GDP.

I believe this shows we have a spending problem, not a taxation problem.

Vashta.Nerada on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

Additionally…

Over the past century, Congress has found a way to spend every tax dollar it has taken from the People and more…necessary or not.

Let’s not give one more drink to the raving alcoholic, shall we?

coldwarrior on April 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

But I am mystified why the GOP has adopted such a hard line when it comes to tax policy,

Morgen, maybe it’s because the GOP has learned something that you have not, something that you are in deep deep denial about. Ronald Reagan agreed to a tax increase based on Democrat promises that it would be offset by spending cuts. The Democrats lied through their teeth, give the Democrats a tax increase of any kind what so ever, and they are absolutely guaranteed to… Increase their spending levels.

There is at this point in time one way and only one way to cut spending. And that is to utterly and totally refuse to increase revenue levels. When the Democrats can no longer pay their funding requirements they will have no choice but to start cutting the programs that they can no longer pay for. It is a financial battle of attrition.

SWalker on April 4, 2012 at 12:05 PM

How about the Republicans go on the attack instead and hammer Obama on the fact that the U.S. now has the highest corporate tax rate in the entire planet?

(And that’s a nice liberal website link.)

JoseQuinones on April 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Morgen, allow me to make a point. In the US, income tax revenue in the modern era has generally ranged between 14% and 19% of GDP. Currently, federal spending is approximately 25% of GDP.

I believe this shows we have a spending problem, not a taxation problem.

Vashta.Nerada on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

RIGHT ON!

kjl291 on April 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

dernst2 on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

No offense, but could you kindly refrain from quoting one of our more esteemed members of the National Socialist Left.

Just put her handle in the your response – most of us have a very good idea of what her comments would be anyway.

The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield, and government to gain ground. Thomas Jefferson

Chip on April 4, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Yes, this is class warfare, yes this is partisan demagoguery…and let’s face it, there is a better than even chance that it’s going to work. Which I find particularly frustrating, because given what may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to finally deal with entitlements, personally, as a member of the near-1%, I would at least grudgingly accept a moderate tax increase knowing that we’ve set the nation on a sustainable path. Further, I would gladly – enthusiastically! – support the possibility of a moderate tax increase as part of the 2012 GOP budget platform, as long as it’s clear that this would only be on the table as part of a comprehensive deal which included entitlement reform, along the lines proposed by Ryan.

Bold text 1: So surrender seems to be your solution.

Bold text 2: Define “moderate tax increase”.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Now before you write me off as just another RINO, I’ll hold up my track record as a conservative activist against anyone. And as a successful business owner in California, I deal first-hand with the challenges of one of the nation’s most onerous tax and regulatory regimes.

Too late, I wrote you off by the time I finished the headline. And whether or not you are a conservative activist or RINO, living in California means that you are a LONELY conservative activist or RINO.

That being said, let me tell you why I disagree. Your entire defense of caving to Democrats on this issue is based on what you see as a pragmatic strategy not the principles behind the GOP position. You really think Dem voters would be happy with the little bit of sticking it to the rich you suggest? You live in California, you better than many (besides those residing in NY and NJ) have seen first hand death by a thousand tax hikes. And how one tax increase encourages other tax hikes. All moderate by themselves but onerous when added up at all levels of government. How can you possibly think it smart to cave in on this issue and think it would end the debate! You don’t seem that ignorant!
Again, fiscal policy should be based on principle not perceived political gain.

Beyond that, the Ryan plan is not perfect. IMO, it deals with the deficit over too many years and even more drastic slashing of funding should occur to get the deficit down quicker. We do not have a tax (revenue) problem, we have a spending problem. You will get many more Americans supporting the GOP with a sensible fiscal approach than you will by giving a small sop to the left which would never be enough to satisfy their demands.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

First things first – Everything Else NOT first.

Cut Spending FIRST!

No more spending cuts sometime in the future that never happen.

Never Forgee; Every time there is a “Comprehensive” deal, the democrats always end up with all of the Hensive while Republicans never seem to receive any of the Compri.

This article is More of the Same Nonsense (Being Reasonable) that got us in this mess in the first place. It’s a continuation of the mantra “The Reagan Era is Over” they were spewing out before the ‘Tea Party’ explained that they were Dead Wrong.

This is just another perscription for 2006 redeaux!

jaydee_007 on April 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Morgen, you forgot the /s.

I mean, you did forget it, right? Because you can’t be serious.

The problem isn’t that tax rates are too low or that there aren’t enough taxes. The problem is spending, and an insane tax code that is full of carve outs and social engineering.

The hard line on taxes forces the focus on the problems, spending and loopholes.

novaculus on April 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Morgan, doesn’t the Ryan plan already include eliminating a significant number of deductions from the tax code? By doing so, we’re already conceding the possibility of increasing taxes in some areas. And honestly, I’m in favor of doing it if it means making the tax code more simple and fair, which is the goal of such reforms.

But beyond that, putting tax increases on the table would mean potentially taking spending reductions off the table, and that is unacceptable with today’s out-of-control federal spending. Our first focus should be reducing the size and scope of government by at least as much as Obama has increased it.

Caiwyn on April 4, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Many have already made this point but the issue is that spending cuts never come when tax are increased. Here is an article that even mentions writings from Ronald Reagan:

http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=45118

ojfltx on April 4, 2012 at 12:08 PM

The only way I would ever consider a tax increase is if there was a REAL entitlement reform along with it. A good example is raising the age of eligibility for MediCare and Social Security.

The reasoning is simple, it’s almost IMPOSSIBLE to reform entitlements, it’s actually very easy to cut taxes.

BradTank on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

The simple fact of the matter is that most voters do not understand the financial crisis this country is in. “National debt” means nothing to them, except that they’re pretty sure someone else will have to pay it, so, you know, no probs there. Most Americans cannot even define “entitlement spending.” This is why Barack’s slogans work so well. They are aimed at low-interest voters. The democrat strategy is to destroy the nation economically, make it collapse in on itself, but time the collapse for when a Republican is in office. This has always been their plan. They achieved a big part of it in 2008 — we had a near collapse and a financial meltdown engineered almost entirely by Barney Frank, but it happened on Bush’s watch, so Bush gets the blame.

So take away the power of Barack’s slogans. Give him a small tax increase on the “richest rich,” and while you’re doing that, explain why it won’t be enough. The GOP in 2012 had GOT to take away Barack’s opportunity to demagogue. That is the only way to get voters to listen. Once the GOP takes the House, Senate and White House, do a switcheroo and watch the economy roar back. The voters will reward them for it.

Rational Thought on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

My dad told me a little proverb when I was a kid about spending. He said if you turn the bathtub faucet on full blast, but don’t plug the drain, the tub will never fill up. If, however, you turn on the faucet to just a trickle, but plug the drain, then in a few days your tub will be over flowing. It’s always more about what you spend rather than what you take in, and not only does D.C. leave the drain unplugged, they’ve also cut out the entire bottom of the tub. The way the Federal Government exists now cannot be fixed, D.C. must massively decentralize.

Weight of Glory on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

The Establishment will betray you.

faraway on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

If I’m reading this right, you’re saying the GOP should support tax hikes bcuz Obluffer is a scheming partisan demagogue, cheat and liar? Nice reasoning. If we get the economy back on track with the creation of jobs jobs and more jobs then paired with much much much less spending, tax hikes are unnecessary because with people working and the economy moving plentya moolah dough greenbacks will be flowing into the gubmint coffers from already existing taxes. Only problem, I guess, is that’s way too capitalistic free market and way not enough socialistmarxistcommunist for the diktator-in-chief wannabe.

stukinIL4now on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Even that does not require raising tax rates. It just requires eliminating the myriad of “credits” and “deductions” that oftentimes not only reduce the tax burden to zero, but many times actually causes people to get a “refund” of taxes they never even paid.

Shump on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Those are all considered tax increases by our side of the aisle. I for one would rather see a consumption tax. One single flat rate on EVERY SINGLE sale. No exceptions, no pre-payments to the poor, no deductions.

What this does is set tax policy in such a way as to get the funds required to run the government. Makes every single person a tax payer, as they consume, they pay. The more government the poor demand, the more they pay for it. The less a rich person spends on himself, the more he has left to build businesses and hire people to create more wealth. There will be no need for special income types such as income, capital gains, and so forth. For every dollar spent, the government gets a specified amount. Because over all spending does not change dramatically, even from boom to bust, the government income stream will be consistent year to year.

astonerii on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Try saying that to the 50% who don’t pay ANY taxes, Morgen.

DevilsPrinciple on April 4, 2012 at 12:04 PM

please stop repeating this myth. or at least quailfy it as saying 50% don’t pay federal income tax. Everyone pays SS medicare and sales tax. A large majority of those that have no federal tax get caught by state income taxes. People look at their daily purchases and see they pay taxes. Trying to get people to believe they don’t pay taxes is a fool’s errand.

Tell the poor they don’t pay taxes and they will laugh in your face.

and form a political stand point it makes no sense. If the gop really believes the poor don’t pay taxes then it would be an easy politcal talking point to offer to lower their taxes in the general election to win their votes. That is what the dems do all the time.

after all what are you givong up? Sinc e in your mind they don’t pay any now. Mitt should offer to lower the taxes of the 99% and sell it with decreased spending.

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

You don’t need to increase taxes if you actually spend less.

The simple logic in that is something that is lost on liberals.

Defenestratus on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

I think the right’s rather strict adherence to their position is due to their observation that caving to the left is a slippery slope and always amounts to a one-sided “compromise”. So while it seems ultra-rigid (not unlike the NRA’s postition on 2nd amendment issues), they have learned alot from others. And I think their position is simply their intial bargaining stance (you never enter negotiations on anything with your final offer do you)? We still have a lot of people that care for the long-term future of this country and would gladly ante-up if they saw hope down the road. Right now I think they see tax increases as simply pouring water into a leaking bucket.

teejk on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

A tax increase is not a “give away” to the 1% it is a massive take away.

There are so many hidden taxes at incomes over $250,000. Then there is the alternative minimum tax which removes all deductions short of mortgage. There is college tuition for which there are no breaks no matter how scholarly the child.

Now we have almost half the population taking a government payout instead of paying taxes. The so called “rich” most of whom are not millionaires and billionaires, are shouldering far more than their fair share.

I am so sick of the bazillions in waste by the dem congress and this horrific president while they climb on their pedestals and scream for more.

Cut spending to the bone. Deal with necessities and stop funding wasteful projects such as the multitude of green energy endeavors, now bankrupt, or the slush fund high speed railways, and so on ad nauseum.

That the government would even have the nerve to ask for more in advance of cutting frivolous spending is stunning. That this author thinks we should compromise is worse.

LASTLY, THERE ARE HUGE TAX INCREASES THAT WILL AUTOMATICALLY KICK IN OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS BRING TAX RATES STATE AND FEDERAL TO 60 PERCENT AND MORE DEPENDING ON THE STATE YOU LIVE IN.

Why would anyone bother working hard to get ahead. It isn’t worth it anymore.

MMover on April 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Give Congress more dollars, they will come up with a way to spend, as opposed to save them. Time to turn off the tap.

JohnGalt23 on April 4, 2012 at 12:12 PM

Mr. Richmond, you probably have not studied economics.
After you’ve read Sowell, Hayek, or Friedman, you will wonder what you were thinking when you posted this blog.

22044 on April 4, 2012 at 12:13 PM

I’m sure a goodly number of people on our side would be willing to revisit tax rates if there was any chance in hell that actual fiscal cuts were part of the deal. Since we have never, ever seen anything like a meaningful cut, or something crazy like a balanced budget amendment, what kind of morons would we be to trust the GOP to have flexibility on the revenue side in their toolbox?

TexasDan on April 4, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Yes.

I would support a tax increase IF and ONLY if it were accompanied by immediate cuts in spending. And by “cuts” I mean real cuts, not cuts in the rate of growth. If they want to raise taxes on anybody 1%, then they have to agree to a 1% immediate, real cut in government spending.

That’ll never happen; consequently I will never agree to a tax increase.

Laura Curtis on April 4, 2012 at 12:13 PM

It would be incredibly disheartening to the base for the GOP to play Charlie Brown to the dems Lucy and the tax football.

yetanotherjohn on April 4, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Yet again. And there is no way that any proposed tax hike would be enough for Democrats. Dems see taxation as much a punishment for success as they see it as a means of funding government.

Happy Nomad on April 4, 2012 at 12:14 PM

So go ahead and let me have it in the comments, but at least consider the merits of the argument.

I am all for a tax increase, no issue here. Let’s start with all those in the ~50% group that pay no federal (or state) taxes at all and ensure that EVERYONE pays their fair share. No reason for me to pay for that road upkeep when non-paying slackers use it whenever they want to. They pay, same as the rest of us. Enough already with “fair share”, next time anyone opens their mouth to even whisper this we should point out that we are all for it and there is a starting point that MUST BE made before any other consideration is even contemplated.

Fair share. Bring it!

riddick on April 4, 2012 at 12:14 PM

I don’t have a problem with raising tax rates if I could be sure that the additional revenue would go towards the debt and deficit. But the reality is that any increase in taxes now will soften the need to reign in spending over the next few years.

thuljunior on April 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

My dad told me a little proverb when I was a kid about spending. He said if you turn the bathtub faucet on full blast, but don’t plug the drain, the tub will never fill up. If, however, you turn on the faucet to just a trickle, but plug the drain, then in a few days your tub will be over flowing. It’s always more about what you spend rather than what you take in, and not only does D.C. leave the drain unplugged, they’ve also cut out the entire bottom of the tub. The way the Federal Government exists now cannot be fixed, D.C. must massively decentralize.

Weight of Glory on April 4, 2012 at 12:10 PM

Well said. Great analogy.

Bitter Clinger on April 4, 2012 at 12:15 PM

@unseen: They don’t pay federal INCOME tax. Why is this so hard to grasp? SS is not INCOME tax. Sales tax is not INCOME tax. Are the “poor” truly this stupid they can’t be taught how taxes work? Or just liberals? Everyone should pay income tax. It’s the “fair” thing to do. Even if they paid $5 and had to give up one pack of smokes, maybe they’d grasp they have skin in the game.

This entire entry was garbage. Let’s roll over and let libs have the narrative. Whatever…

tyketto on April 4, 2012 at 12:16 PM

I’m all for the Buffet tax.

Specifically, a tax on Warren Buffet and him alone. Want to make sure he doesn’t pay less taxes than his secretary.

HumpBot Salvation on April 4, 2012 at 12:00 PM

I can live with some kind of limit on dividend income taxed at existing rates, of say $150K. After that tax them as ordinary income. What would be the effect of that on the stock market?

In any case, capital gains taxes are set for a huge increase unless Congress takes positive steps: Capital Gains Taxes Are Going Up

Don’t know if the Obamacare tax on investment income of 3.8% affects dividend income as well.

slickwillie2001 on April 4, 2012 at 12:16 PM

Yes. We should make our opposition to tax increases retroactive. Every increase over the last 30 years should be rescinded.

Citizen-003528 on April 4, 2012 at 12:17 PM

please stop repeating this myth. or at least quailfy it as saying 50% don’t pay federal income tax.

unseen on April 4, 2012 at 12:11 PM

This entire discussion is about federal income tax, not taxes in general. The federal government is spending 40% more than it receives in federal income taxes.

Vashta.Nerada on April 4, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Spending? Yesssssssssssssssss!Not rate of increase-Cut cut!

KOOLAID2 on April 4, 2012 at 12:18 PM

I am 100% for increased taxes on the almost half of Americans who pay no taxes.

astonerii on April 4, 2012 at 11:51 AM
I stand corrected; I AM for some increased taxation, then!

search4truth on April 4, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Works for me.

I also support the Buffett tax (though not Obama’s version). Warren Buffett can have all of his income taxed at 100%. I would be just fine with that. He could even start by having BH pay the billion dollars it owes in back taxes.

talkingpoints on April 4, 2012 at 12:18 PM

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