A Radical Proposal
by James Frye
There’s a lot of campaign rhetoric out there right now that goes along these lines:
If you do or don’t do this or that, the bill is going to fall on your children.
Well, there is a solution to all of that – pony up the money now so it doesn’t fall on your kids and grandkids to pay for it. It’s the responsible thing to do.
Yes, I’m talking about raising taxes. *gasp*
One of the things that impressed me about Howard Dean when he ran for president in 2004 is that he came out for ending all of the Bush across-the-board tax cuts. Six years ago. It would have been a good start. Since then we’ve had two wars and a necessary stimulus program that needs paying for, not borrowing for. Both parties have done the borrowing thing and taxes have become the new third rail of politics. The idea of shared paying for the commons has been demonized so effectively that even that same stimulus plan had to include middle class tax cuts to get passed.
It would require an act of political courage to even suggest that we need to raise taxes to pay for what we want, be it foreign wars or domestic job creation – something I’m not seeing. The Democrats are too cowed by the screams of the right to propose such a thing and the right is still convinced that their theory that reducing taxes means increasing revenues is correct, facts otherwise be damned. Nonetheless, we need to do it. Loans are a nice way to kick the can down the road but that bill comes due eventually too. The fact is that services and programs we want aren’t free and we need to start thinking about putting our money where our mouths are. Reagan raised taxes more than once. So did George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. We didn’t fall into national bankruptcy or a socialist dictatorship, either.
It’s time to act like grownups and pay up.
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