And despite being pushed aside by Vice President Joe Biden during the last minute fiscal cliff deal making, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was on message. After new senators were sworn in, Reid promised, “Any future budget agreements must balance the need for thoughtful spending reductions with revenue from the wealthiest among us and closing wasteful tax loopholes.”
[Aside: Because the text of the bill was not available to senators before they voted, perhaps Mr. Reid was unaware the deal he dutifully touted gave billion-dollar companies special tax breaks and left small businesses with a higher bill from the IRS.]
Despite Democrats’ near-unanimous promise of future tax increases, we are told not to worry. One conservative pundit confidently explained, “the idea that they [Democrats] will raise rates again in the Obama years...is a fantasy.”
Tax rates may or may not increase, but one thing is certain: you can raise taxes without raising rates. Dick Durbin, the Senate’s second ranking Democrat, reiterated his fellow Illinoisan “is insistent that any future talks about deficit reduction include revenue. There will have to be some other aspect of it that’s brought to the table, and if it isn’t a rate increase, there are other ways.”
AEI’s James Pethokoukis notes “White House economists thought a tax hike of around $500 billion was doable via broadening the tax base.” He continues:
“One potential Obama bargaining chip is the sequester, particularly the $500 billion in defense cuts that many GOPers loathe. So perhaps Obama can offer to turn off the defense cuts in exchange for $500 billion from limiting tax breaks for the rich.”
Mr. Levin, who played chief antagonist to House Republicans on New Year’s night, explained they were “setting the stage for a balanced approach from here on out by delaying sequestration through 1-1 revenue to spending cuts.”
Our nation can no longer afford to play this game. Republicans must, as Mr. Camp and others indicated they would, take tax increases off the table. It will never be enough for the political left.
Case in point, left-wing heart throb and new Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren refused to define what constituted the middle classing, saying, “it’s not a numbers issue.” Guess what middle class...you’re next.