The Corner

No One Is Safe from Higher Taxes

Democrats have a language problem. They don’t know how to talk about cutting spending, and the party’s tax lingo is equally pathetic — soak the rich.

This year’s budget process may not help the party with political translation, but it should serve as a Berlitz course for those trying to understand what’s coming down the pike.

House Democrats floated an unprecedented trial balloon this week: suggesting they might not pass a budget in 2010. The House has passed a budget every year since the 1974 Budget Act created the process.

Why? The fiscal blueprint would expose many vulnerable Democrats to voting for tax increases (by letting many of the Bush tax cuts snap back to pre-2001 levels).

But there’s more. Even with all the new tax revenue raised in the president’s budget, massive deficits persist, exposing the Democrats’ Ponzi scheme.

If Democrats don’t learn to speak the language of spending cuts, Americans won’t need a translator to understand what’s next to avoid fiscal ruin — tax hikes.

A growing number of voters already get it. Before the November 2008 election, voters trusted Democrats more on taxes (46 percent to the Republicans’ 44, according to Rasmussen). Yet the latest Rasmussen data shows a dramatic shift in less than 18 months. Republicans are now trusted on the tax issue 52 percent to 34 percent — a 20-point shift.

Democrats might think skipping the budget process can obfuscate the growing fiscal crisis they’ve created. They might also believe they can avoid talking about raising taxes on everyone except “the rich.” But what’s happening is not lost in translation on the American people. We may never hear the words, “middle-class tax hike,” but every one of us should get ready to pay.

Gary Andres is vice president of public policy and research at Dutko Worldwide.

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