Jim Gilmore

Right now, almost everything that is being done in Washington and many state capitals works against growth. In my own view, we are doing very little in the U.S. to encourage it and will damage it by putting government fingers deeper in Americans’ pockets.

Particularly misleading is the idea that those with the deepest pockets represent our best target, that increasing taxes on “millionaires and billionaires” can lead us back from the precipice our nation now faces. As the Wall Street Journal pointed out in a Monday opinion piece of its own, confiscating 100 percent of all taxable income by this economic group would yield something in the neighborhood of $938 billion—“sand on the beach,” the paper noted, “amid the $4 trillion White House budget.” It is also worth noting that $938 billion is precisely the cost of just one new government spending program—the President’s own health-care overhaul.

As we struggle to avert the dire consequences of doing nothing, or doing harm to our fragile recovery with increased taxation, we should stand firm and stop any tax increase proposals masquerading as a reasonable and fair part of a bipartisan fix. We should go about the hard work of repairing the tax code -- of lowering rates, simplifying it and turning it into an instrument that promotes economic growth and brings job back to America. Economic research by the President’s own former top economic adviser, Professor Christina Romer, shows that lawmakers can generate as much as a 3 percent jump in the economy, if taxes are cut by just 1 percent of GDP.

With proper growth incentives in place, U.S. Treasury Department revenues would grow and be available for deployment in jobs and education for more Americans. Americans would then use those skills to go to work and earn taxable income. It is an energetic positive cycle waiting to be unleashed. It is a positive choice -- not a false one -- within our reach with no qualifications.

Jim Gilmore

James S. Gilmore III, is President and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation (www.freecongress.org).