Maybe It’s Time For Tax Hikes For Everyone


Writing for the Washington Post, Marc Thiessen wonders if it isn’t time to start pricing government appropriately:

How can we expect people to care about the growth of government if it doesn’t cost them anything?

Instead of paying for the current miasma of spending, we’ve been borrowing the money from our children and grandchildren. The national debt has grown by nearly $6 trillion in the four years since Obama took office. That generational theft cannot continue. We must not keep financing big government by passing the bills on to the next generation. Ideally, we would stop the spending binge and live within our means. But if the nation is not up to that, then we should all pitch in and pay for it — all of us.

Sorry, taxing the rich won’t solve our problems — that’s nothing but fiscal snake oil the president has been selling. He is demanding $1.3 trillion in higher taxes on the wealthy over 10 years. Imagine he got it. We are adding nearly that much to the national debt every single year. Taxing the rich would not put even a minor dent in our debt. It would pay for less than three weeks of federal spending every year. The only way to pay for the current expansion of government is to raise taxes on the middle class.

So let’s do it. Let’s all of us experience the true cost of big government in the form of a bigger tax bill.

If there were to be a theme for this modern age of American politics it would be economic bubbles. We saw a housing bubble expand and then pop after the government lowered the price of mortgages to promote home ownership. We’re seeing a higher education bubble reach the point of popping after government lowered the price of student loans to promote college degrees. And now we’re seeing a government bubble after the government lowered the price of government by not asking taxpayers to pay for it.

Americans have made it clear that they want bigger, more expansive government paid for by other people. And the politicians have been doing their best to honor that demand, putting the burden for this growth in government squarely on the shoulders of younger Americans who will be tasked with paying back the debt we’re accumulating now (or just printing more money, diluting the value of our currency and making us all poorer in the process).

This has created an idea, which seems ingrained in American voters these days, that government money is somehow free money. Something that has, in turn, led to a lot of bad decision making.

Just as subprime borrowers thought it was a great idea to take out a third mortgage on their home to fund a European vacation, just as college students think it’s a great idea to take out $100,000 in student loans to get a sociology degree, our politicians seem to think it’s a great idea to spend hundreds of billions on “stimulus” projects and investments into “green energy” boondoggles.

And the taxpayers go along with it, because right now they’re not feeling any pain. They’re not being asked to pay for it. It all goes to the national debt, and if anyone’s taxes are going up, it’s just the rich people’s taxes. And that’s not most of us, right?

But bubbles are what happens when you disconnect the consumer from the price. We’re all consumers of government. We all drive on the roads. Most of us use the schools. We all benefit from the police and the fire departments and the military. Maybe it’s time we started actually paying for it all.

There may be no better way to get across the need for limited government than to bring the price of government home to every taxpayer in the country in the form of higher taxes. It would be terrible for our economy, but the long term consequences of continuing as we are now are even worse.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters.

Related posts

  • whowon

    Why all these people who think we need more taxes..don’t just pay more!

    • Goon

      and leave the rest of us alone.

  • RCND

    “And now we’re seeing a government bubble after the government lowered the price of government by not asking taxpayers to pay for it.”

    That is probably the most concise yet comprehensive description of the current crisis ever written

    • Bat One

      Yes, it is.

    • Rob

      Well thanks!

  • mickey_moussaoui

    Just today, obama authorized a pay raise for federal employees.

    • Snarkie

      That’s horrible. I bet most of them are ‘urban.’

  • Spartacus

    Tax increases are inevitable. Who pays is the question. As a middle bracket earner and payer I think it’s time the 47% that vociferously demand others pay more step up and pay their share. Let’s cut unemployment payments back to 90 days instead of 99 weeks. Let’s place a productive lifestyle above the lifestyle of a sponge for a change.

  • Goon

    How about stop spending… We don’t need to give people Obama phones or endless streams of benefits and money to people that could work but wont. We’re stealing from people to give it to other people. This ridiculous.

    • $8194357


      • Goon

        They statists are pissing our kids futures away and they don’t care.

        • $8194357

          Good comrade globalists one and all..
          They need America (our children) to go broke for it to happen..
          I been telling folks about it for over a decade…..
          We finance the internationlist agenda with our debt…
          They get twice the deconstructive bang for the fed reserve buck..
          America goes tits up and the global agenda is paid for…
          Sad as hell and true as can be…

    • Rob

      The problem is that most Americans don’t want to stop spending, because most of them aren’t feeling the cost.

      Conservatives will never be able to win an election on the “cut spending” platform until taxpayers feel some pain from that spending,

      • camsaure

        Thankfully most is about half, we the other half are here to fight back. I agree everyone should have “skin” in the game. That may wake up a few more of the “takers/moochers”.

      • Thresherman

        More people would care if the media would actually inform them about the waste and pork barreling. A 60 billion dollar relief bill for Hurricane Sandy victims with the vast majority of it pork should be lead story nignt after night, but instead we are treated to the steady dirge for Sandy Hook victims because that is the agenda that the media is pursuing.

        • silverstreak

          It probably wouldn’t hurt if the MSM pointed out that Obama’s biggest cheerleader for tax increases,Warren Buffett,owes a billion dollars in back taxes and has been fighting the IRS for over 10 years.
          Of course…I would imagine that Buffett’s tax problems have greatly diminished or disappeared completely.

  • $8194357

    I have a “novel” idea..
    Why don’t government in the red or black try cutting spending?
    Dip wads….One and all…..

  • banjo kid

    taxing the rich will run our government for 11 days wow!

  • banjo kid

    never cut spending it takes all the fun out of being a politician.

  • Thresherman

    How about a law that requires that any shortfall of revenue in regard to expenditures must be made up in the next fiscal year. This does not mean that the dickheads in Washington have to balance the budget, they simply have to cover the previous year’s shortfalls in full the following year. This allows the government to keep spending the way it claims the people want, they just have to bill them for it the following year. Now this will not reduce the deficit, but it will stop the massive increases in it every year. It also has the benefit of making those who accrue the debt having to finance it instead of shifting the responsibility onto generations yet unborn.

    • Rob

      But they won’t follow a law like that. There’s a law requiring Congress to produce a budget every spring. When was the last time that happened, 2009¿

    • Bat One

      We don’t need more laws that the politicians will only ignore. What we need is politicians who will follow the laws – and the oath of office – we already have.

  • cylde

    A very proud liar, anybody can pay more in taxes if they choose to. What he wants is other people to pay more in taxes.