Patrick Louis Knudsen over at Heritage posted this chart showing what the president has in mind when he talks about a balanced approach to a fiscal-cliff deal:
The president “balanced” plan is $1.6 trillion in tax hikes over 10 years and the promise of $400 billion in spending cuts over the same period. As Knudsen calculates “the package consists of at least $4 of tax increases to $1 of spending cuts” — and that’s assuming that the spending cuts will materialize, which they haven’t in previous deals.
Readers know what I think about the president’s balanced approach. Mostly, it may sound reasonable and appeal to our sense of fairness (even when people understand that our current and future debt problems are spending problems) but it’s neither fair nor balanced, and it will not address our debt problem.
In addition, I think it is problematic to target only one type of taxpayers. If Congress increases taxes, they should go up for everyone. First, considering the current and future levels of spending, there simply aren’t enough rich taxpayers to pay all our bills, no matter how you look at it. Second, the whole debate about taxing the rich ignore one fundamental point: If we don’t cut spending today and address the drivers of our debt (Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid), taxes will need to go up dramatically more than what is on the table now, and they will have to go up for everyone.
I had a piece over at the Examiner on Friday on the topic.