The Corner

The Middle Class vs. the Beast

The new Weekly Standard includes an article by me making the case that keeping middle-class taxes low serves the cause of limited government.

Regardless of what politicians have been saying in public, everyone who has looked at the budget projections for the next few decades understands that, absent a sudden reduction in Americans’ life expectancy or other shocking development, middle-class benefits are going to have to be cut, middle-class taxes are going to have to be raised, or both. The war between liberals and conservatives over the future of the welfare state is largely a matter of how much of each will be done. Conservatives think that it would be better to cut middle-class benefits than to raise middle-class taxes: that we should not take more out of people’s paychecks in order to give them more when they retire. Liberals would rather raise middle-class taxes than cut middle-class benefits, a policy that reduces risks by setting a higher floor in retirement for everyone.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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