Hey Rich Folks, Fix This Debt With Taxes!
If you were wondering why the bipartisan commission seems strangely designed not to achieve anything, here's one reason why. In a new Bloomberg poll,
Two- thirds of Americans favor taxing the rich to reduce the deficit [Ed: Including about 50 percent of self-described Republicans. Huh!]
Well, the House Republican Whip Eric Cantor promises to cover his ears and scream loudly at the very mention of a tax increase until unemployment is under 5 percent (which means, what, six years at least?). Any other ideas, America?
Even though almost 9 of 10 respondents also say they believe the middle class will have to make financial sacrifices to achieve that goal, only a little more than one-fourth support an increase in taxes on the middle class. Fewer still back cuts in entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare or a new national consumption tax.
So the best deficit-busting measures are also the most unpopular. Not a big surprise. I'm guessing most respondents weren't flipping through CBO reports when they answered Bloomberg's questions, but this graph from the Congressional Budget Office makes perfectly clear that our long-term debt crisis is a surging Medicare flood spilling over a dam of tax revenue. The most logical way to avoid the coming inundation is to control the flood and raise the dam.