Democrats are always projecting. Just look at the way some prominent Democrats this week accused the Republicans of being like Nazis, when it’s the Democrats who are in favor of an all-powerful central government that controls every aspect of our lives. They’re no different when it comes to taxing the middle class. They accuse their opponents of planning to raise taxes on the middle class, when they’re the ones looking at our bank accounts and wallets and licking their chops.
The Wall Street Journal compared the proposed budgets of Paul Ryan and President Obama in this chart. Somebody is going to have to pay for the spending. Obama’s spending never slows down. Who do you think is going to pay for it? There are not, and will never be, enough rich people in the United States to pay for it.
Mr. Ryan had an instructive colloquy with Tim Geithner on this point in February. The Budget Chairman noted that the Administration doesn’t “have a plan to make good” on the promises the political class has made to voters. The Treasury Secretary replied that “As I said, we’re not disagreeing in that sense. I made it absolutely clear that what our budget does is get our deficit down to a sustainable path over the budget window.”
Mr. Ryan: “And then it takes off.” Mr. Geithner: “Let’s ask ourselves why they take off again. Why do they do that?” Mr. Ryan: “Because we have 10,000 people retiring every day and health-care costs going up.”
Mr. Geithner: “That’s right. . . . We’re not coming before you to say we have a definitive solution to our long-term problem. What we do know is that we don’t like yours.”
The only omission in Mr. Geithner’s remarkable candor is that Democrats do have a plan, kind of. As debt continues to build, at some point U.S. creditors will lose confidence in the Treasury’s ability to repay. Then Democrats and even some Republicans will impose a European-style value-added tax or another money machine to appease the bond markets.
What voters should know is that this taxing big bang won’t only hit the affluent. Far from it. For evidence, consult a recent study by Eric Toder, Jim Nunns and Joseph Rosenberg of the Tax Policy Center. We know this Brookings-Urban Institute shop has credibility with liberals, because it is the source of the fiction that the Romney-Ryan team wants to boost middle-class taxes.
The researchers looked at how high income-tax rates would have to rise in the top two or even three tax brackets to lower debt to sustainable levels under something akin to CBO’s alternative fiscal scenario. They conclude that even if the top rates hit 100%, the budget “cannot achieve the debt-reduction targets in some or any of the target years.” Though conceding that near-total confiscation is “completely unrealistic,” they report the results anyway “to indicate the infeasibility of achieving a high debt-reduction target simply by increasing top individual income tax rates.” And this is from economists who favor higher taxes.
Read the whole thing if you can. Even if they confiscate 100% of the income from the wealthy it won’t be nearly enough to pay for all of that spending. So who do you think they’re going to turn to?