LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition
We currently spend $2.3 trillion annually on our federal government. We take in $1.5 trillion in applicable taxes. In the next several years we must add in above this baseline about $500 to $800 billion annually for SS, Medicare, Medicaid and Obama care. We might be able to reduce Defense by about $200 Billion annually with the phase out of the current wars. If the government seeks to fund more jobs these numbers will rise
If you add that up it essentially says we must double the federal income tax take to stop increasing the deficit. My numbers do not address the existing $14 trillion debt. The $70 billion annually we would make from “taxing the rich” under current proposals is lost in these numbers.
So let us give everybody what ever they want (no demand) and collapse the incomes of the workers making more than the median (those who pay income taxes) to essentially that of those making less than the median. Equality of outcome – Mr. Marx would be proud. Not going to happen!!!
Yes we should tax the rich – more than Mr. Obama proposes. We may need to increase taxes on everybody by 5% or so. (Remember the tax increase will be on top of cuts in services and higher fees). We may also have to tax the current substantial numbers of people who are not poor but who do not contribute to the operation of the government. We may even need to address inefficiencies and duplication in our $800 Billion a year social safety net starting by consolidating the programs under one set of Congressional Committees.
We are facing a period of austerity. If we act soon it will hurt but be manageable. If we do not act there is real austerity (think Greece) in our future. Equity demands the pain be shared.
The current demands that meaningless cuts (think Medicare) be augmented with very modest tax increases on the wealthy will not cut it. The notion of disestablishing the social safety net while protecting the very rich is also a non starter. IMHO the 2012 prize will go to the party that figures out how to best balance the pain across the population (or marginalize those selected to take the brunt).