Still Getting Fiscal Policy Wrong

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on April 11, 2011

We are due to have a speech from the President, in which he will call for a number of measures designed to cut the deficit, including an increase in taxes. I am sure that the proposal for a tax increase will be sold as a demand that the rich “pay their fair share.” Never mind that they already are, and that no country has a tax system as “progressive” as ours.

Meanwhile, from Steve Benen, there is this:

. . . Once Democrats commit to systematic debt reduction as policymakers’ principal goal — as opposed to, say, economic growth — it sets the terms of the debate. The unyielding dynamic locks everyone into answering the same question: how do we tackle the deficit and the debt?

Read on, and you will find that Benen believes that tackling the deficit and the debt would be a bad thing, since it presumably takes away the focus from creating jobs–as though the political class, and the country at large have not been focusing on both deficit reduction and job creation ever since the deficit exploded into the trillions, and unemployment reached where it is even now; within kissing distance of 10%.

Of course, we know that if a Republican administration were in office, people like Benen would be using the deficit to bash that administration over the head every single day. But since a Democratic administration is in office, people like Benen have decided instead to become members in good standing of the new “deficits don’t matter” crowd. How very opportunistic, and how very indicative of the degree we should take people like Benen seriously in the debate over fiscal policy.

  • ns

    Whenever the politicians say ‘tax the rich’, they always mean taxing the middle class – because that’s where the money is. Relatively few make over $250,000 a year, and as noted, they are already taxed a lot. OTOH, if you can get an extra $1,000 from tens of millions or a hundred million taxpayers, you’re getting a lot more.

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