Taxes Are Going To Go Up (Q&A Friday #110)

Question: Should conservatives consider it acceptable to get rid of subsidies and tax breaks for special interests (and lets be honest, we are mostly talking about wealthy special interests), even though it is effectively a tax increase on those groups? — President Friedman

Answer: Here’s the thing: We’ve spent way too much for way too long and so, taxes are going to go up. Almost half the country is paying no income tax, Social Security and Medicare are going to trend further and further into the red, and our credit rating is already starting to drop because we’re spending so much. This isn’t a problem we have to deal with far in the future; it’s a problem we have to deal with in the here and now.

Although Republicans are right not to go along with increasing taxes yet, the time is going to come in the next few years when they give in. Republicans will vote for tax increases while Democrats vote for spending cuts. Hopefully that’s how it will work because the alternative will probably be for spending to keep going up even further into the stratosphere.

So, getting back to the question, we have Republicans trying to figure out ways to raise more revenue without raising taxes, since that technically means that they’re not breaking their pledge. So, do I consider getting “rid of subsidies and tax breaks for special interests” to be a tax increase? Nope, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think that’s where it ends, as opposed to where it starts.

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