Friday, May 29, 2009

Can we eliminate federal budget deficits by reducing spending and not raising taxes?

Many opponents of tax increases claim we can reduce government budget deficits and pay down the public debt just by cutting government spending. Is this a reasonable assertion?

The federal budget defIcit for the current fiscal year is estimated to be more than $1.8 trillion. I think we would be extremely hard-pressed to find 51 U.S. Senators who would agree to cut federal spending by anything close to that amount. We can try to elect more fiscally responsible leaders. But in the meantime, what do we do? As it stands, we are passing trillions of dollars of debt to future generations. I think that is morally and ethically wrong. So, yes, I do favor raising taxes now (while still trying to reduce government spending). And, yes, I think we should extract most of that from the wealthy. I do not agree with the assertion that if you tax the rich they will just leave. Mississippi has substantially lower taxes than Massachusetts, but I don´t see most of Boston making that move.


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