It's true that President Barack Obama has come up with more than $3 trillion in new taxes during his short tenure, but that's not enough. Paul Volcker, the president's informal adviser and a former Federal Reserve chairman, recently broached the idea of "value-added tax," a consumption tax embedded into everything you buy, and a new carbon or energy tax. (Interesting concepts if they were fixed to future plans to cut taxes on income, labor and investment. They are not.)
It's doubtful that raising taxes is the answer. As a study conducted by the Tax Policy Center found, even if Washington raised taxes by 40 percent, it would "reduce -- not eliminate, just reduce -- the deficit to 3 percent of our GDP, the 2015 goal the Obama administration set in its 2011 budget."
Someone could mention how helpful a massive across-the-board spending cut coupled with entitlement reform would be for the long-term fiscal stability of the nation, but then again, that person would be engaging in idealistic flights of imagination.
So taxes it is. If I were running a minority party, I would make tax reform a major plank of my campaign.
Cut capital gains and corporate taxes. Simplify and flatten income taxes. Finally -- and this is sure to go over well in suburban and lower-income households across the nation -- spread the income tax burden more equitably so that all of us can enjoy "investing" in Washington.
After all, if your taxes were tied to their spending in any substantive or immediate way, politicians would be ... well, they'd be in trouble.