Suddenly the likes of Bernie Sanders care about the debt. Republicans, he and the angry left claim, are being hypocritical by not raising taxes. This is nonsense. Keeping tax rates the same is not, as he claims, adding anything to the debt. Sure, Republicans have agreed to Obama’s costly extension of unemployment insurance, but that’s a reasonable price to pay for not allowing the tax hikers to truly wreck the economy. The latter would, in the long run, result in less government revenues anyway.
We need to be honest about our fiscal problem. The debt is just a symptom, and it cannot be treated by increased revenues. Why? Because the real problem is spending. If politicians are given more revenues, they will just spend it. This principle has been demonstrated time and time again. Raising taxes will do nothing to fix the debt. The only way to reduce deficits is to reduce the burden of government spending. It’s not a 35% tax bracket instead of 39.6% standing in the way of fiscal sanity, nor a 15% capital gains tax instead of 20%. It’s the self-described socialist Bernie Sanders and his comrades on the left blocking us from doing what needs to be done.
Cross-posted at Conservative Compendium.