Video: Howard Dean Tells the (Ugly) Truth on Taxes
posted at 4:09 pm on December 6, 2012 by Guy Benson
Dean, on MSNBC: “This is initially going to seem like heresy from a progressive. The truth is everybody needs to pay more taxes, not just the rich.”
MSNBC contributor Krystal Ball (real name) agrees, offering a somewhat muted note of concern about “timing:”
If we’re going to continue to make the promises and keep the promises that I think are so important…we probably will have to raise taxes on a lot of people. But it’s a question of timing of when do we want to make those choices?”
As I wrote at Townhall, Dean and Ball are correct about the widespread consequences of their ideology. They’re wrong, however, about the capacity of the federal government to “keep the promises” it’s making, even via mammoth across-the-board tax hikes:
When the accrued expenses of the government’s entitlement programs are counted, it becomes clear that to collect enough tax revenue just to avoid going deeper into debt would require over $8 trillion in tax collections annually. That is the total of the average annual accrued liabilities of just the two largest entitlement programs, plus the annual cash deficit. Nothing like that $8 trillion amount is available for the IRS to target. According to the most recent tax data, all individuals filing tax returns in America and earning more than $66,193 per year have a total adjusted gross income of $5.1 trillion. In 2006, when corporate taxable income peaked before the recession, all corporations in the U.S. had total income for tax purposes of $1.6 trillion. That comes to $6.7 trillion available to tax from these individuals and corporations under existing tax laws. In short, if the government confiscated the entire adjusted gross income of these American taxpayers, plus all of the corporate taxable income in the year before the recession, it wouldn’t be nearly enough to fund the over $8 trillion per year in the growth of U.S. liabilities. Some public officials and pundits claim we can dig our way out through tax increases on upper-income earners, or even all taxpayers. In reality, that would amount to bailing out the Pacific Ocean with a teaspoon. Only by addressing these unsustainable spending commitments can the nation’s debt and deficit problems be solved.
The video above features liberals discussing their grand plans with other liberals, safely ensconced within the Lean Forward cocoon. Much higher taxes for everyone, much more federal spending, and deficit reduction as an afterthought, at best. Ball actually describes it as an undesirable undertaking. Are you ready for this brave new (unsustainable) world, America?