President Obama will have to go after middle class if he wants meaningful revenue increases.
November 15, 2012 by Dan Mitchell
Obama has staked out a very dogmatic and inflexible position on class-warfare tax hikes and he obviously wants all of us to think only the “rich” will be impacted.
I think it’s foolish to penalize investors, entrepreneurs, small business owners and other upper-income taxpayers. What nation, after all, has ever prospered by placing obstacles in front of those who create jobs? France? Don’t make me laugh.
But I’m also amazed that anyone believes Obama isn’t going to screw the middle class as well. The simple reality is that there aren’t enough rich people to finance big government.
There are some honest folks on the left who admit that they want ordinary people on the chopping block.
- The New York Times endorsed higher taxes on the middle class in 2010.
- The then-House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer also gave a green light that year to higher taxes on the middle class.
- Earlier this year, MIT professor and former IMF official Simon Johnson argued that the middle class should pay more tax.
- The Washington Post also called for higher taxes on the middle class this year, as did Vice President Joe Biden’s former economist.
- A New York Times columnist also called for broad-based tax hikes on the middle class this year.
Now we can add another honest statist to the list. I debated some guy from a left-wing think tank and he wants Obama to push all of us off the fiscal cliff.
Dan Mitchell Talking about the Fiscal Cliff and Tax HIkes on CNBC
I think this was a civilized debate, by the way. We both got equal time, and we both had a chance to make our points.
I’m hoping that viewers heard – and understood – these two points.
- We don’t need higher taxes since we can balance the budget merely by restraining government spending so that it grows by an average of 2.5 percent per year.
- The only budget deal that succeeded (as the New York Times accidentally admitted) was the one in 1997 that cut taxes rather than increasing them.
P.S. If I had to guess, I would say that Obama’s ultimate goal for hurting the middle class is a value-added tax. Notwithstanding the fiscal crisis in Europe, he actually said the VAT is “something that has worked for other countries.”