Government Spending

Don't Raise the Debt Ceiling, Lower the Spending[*]

|

Writing in the Wash Times, Reason columnist and Mercatus Center economist Veronique de Rugy and her Mercatus colleague Jason Fichtner argue against raising the federal debt limit:

Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, proposes that the federal government prioritize paying the national debt above all other spending. The most recent Office of Management and Budget data shows federal revenues will reach $2.17 trillion this fiscal year. Interest payments on the nation's debt are estimated to be $205 billion this year, or about 10 percent of revenues. Taking that payment off the top, as Mr. Toomey's plan would, leaves $1.9 trillion for Congress to spend. That's enough to pay for Social Security ($741 billion), Medicare ($488 billion), and Medicaid ($276 billion), with $395 billion left for other programs.

Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner called Mr. Toomey's bill "quite harmful" and "unworkable." And he used this analogy of a typical American homeowner to explain why: "A homeowner could decide to 'prioritize' and continue paying monthly mortgage payments, while opting to cease paying other obligations, such as car payments, insurance premiums, student loan and credit-card payments, utilities, and so forth. Although the mortgage would be paid, the damage to that homeowner's creditworthiness would be severe."

Mr. Geithner, however, mistakenly assumes that American homeowners always pay their expenses with borrowed funds (the way the government does). Most do not. When tough financial times hit, families eat out less, go to fewer movies, buy fewer clothes and postpone vacations. If those things don't save enough, then they might borrow money to pay bills or skip payments.

Go here for the whole piece.

And watch this 45-second vid about the topic here:

For more info on the debt limit, go here.

[*] For terrible headline allusion, go here.

And for a previous link to the very same de Rugy article in the Wash Times, go here.

NEXT: Yes, Sportswriters Still Think Labor Mobility Is Stupid

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling, Lower the Spending[*]

    Why do you hate the poor, Nick?

    Don’t you see that, with all this hateful rhetoric, someone is bound to pick up a shovel and massively bash people’s heads in parking lots?

  2. Sen. Pat Toomey, Pennsylvania Republican, proposes that the federal government prioritize paying the national debt above all other spending.

    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    De-fault!
    Gimme a “D”!!! Gimmme a…

    1. This is the opposite of default, OM, it’s servicing the debt first so bond holders won’t ass rape the US’s credit rating and then deciding what’s most important with what’s left.

  3. The US debt is really an interest rate maintenance account. It’s not debt like most people understand it. It doesn’t have to be “paid back.” Attempting to do that is borderline idiotic. Bonds are very much like cash, they just pay interest, and remove money from circulation for a little while (to help control inflation). But the money that is used to pay the interest is created by the Fed in the same way as the money that is used to cover Social Security checks.

    I agree, you can’t keep spending forever like we have been spending without ruinous inflation, eventually. And I agree that government needs to be reigned in. But how we’re going to “pay down the debt” isn’t keeping me up at night, and it’s not troubling my children either. Nor should it.

    http://www.moslereconomics.com

    1. The US debt is really an interest rate maintenance account. It’s not debt like most people understand it. It doesn’t have to be “paid back.”

      “An interest rate maintenance account.” Yeah …. That’s the ticket!

    2. It doesn’t have to be “paid back.”

      If you can find a single Treasury bondholder who agrees with this, I will be very surprised.

      1. It’s not debt. It’s more like kiting checks!

        1. Or using your Visa to pay off your Amex.

      2. Ok, I should have said “paid down.” Of course, the principal on US Treasury instruments will always be returned to individual borrowers. What I meant was that the total debt level can actually rise (gradually) without limit, and it is likely to do so in a growing economy. And, if you want your economy to stop growing, or even crash horribly, go ahead and embark on a “let’s pay down the debt” crusade. Every dollar added to the deficit (and debt) is one dollar added to the private sector. Every dollar collected in surplus is a dollar extracted from the private sector. This is how the private sector gets its money – from government spending. Been this way since 1913.

        I’d really like to meet one person (you hear me Nick Gillespie?) who really, really deep down lives in fear that the US won’t “pay down” its debt. If you are one of those people (and I doubt you really exist except when you are making a political point), I’m here to tell you: chill. Enjoy life. There are plenty of real problems to worry about. Like maybe your state or local budgets, since states and localities aren’t issuers of fiat currency…

        1. And, if you want your economy to stop growing, or even crash horribly, go ahead and embark on a “let’s pay down the debt” crusade.

          Gosh, how did the US economy ever survive during years when its debt was paid down?

    3. But the money that is used to pay the interest is created by the Fed in the same way as the money that is used to cover Social Security checks.

      It is paid back by taxes, devaluing the currency, piling on more debt, or defaulting.

      It is actual money owed to actual people.

  4. Mr. Geithner, however, mistakenly assumes that American homeowners always pay their expenses with borrowed funds (the way the government does). Most do not. When tough financial times hit, families eat out less, go to fewer movies, buy fewer clothes and postpone vacations. If those things don’t save enough, then they might borrow money to pay bills or skip payments.

    Doesn’t matter! Economic laws don’t apply because you simply tap your heels together and say the magic obfuscating word: “Macroeconomics”!

    And all will be swell!

  5. Or raise taxes. It’s gotta be on the table if you people are serious at all.

    What do keeping the Bush tax cuts have to do with making a smaller government? Is it related at all?

    1. Re: Tony,

      Or raise taxes.

      “Now you see my money… Now, you don’t!”

      The Wilson administration also thought like you, Tony, that people would not change their behavior and just give away their hard earned cash out of pure patriotism. Obviously, it didn’t happen then, and it won’t happen now.

      What do keeping the Bush tax cuts have to do with making a smaller government?

      “What does robbing less have to do with a robber’s smaller household?”

      Your guess is as good as mine, except that robbing less is simply robbing less. Shrinking the size of government is something else.

    2. Why does raising taxes have to be on the table exactly?

      What do keeping the Bush tax cuts have to do with making a smaller government? Is it related at all?

      Right, right, what do taxes have to do with freedom?

      1. Because one of the largest contributors to the country’s debt is the Bush tax cuts that weren’t offset by spending cuts. If we have to make painful spending cuts to solve the debt, there is absolutely no reason we can’t entertain the notion of restoring that revenue, so they don’t have to be as painful.

        Taxes have nothing to do with freedom, and you’re a bunch of dishonest weasels for playing this game instead of answering the question. You care so much about debt and balanced budgets, but when it comes to an obvious contributor to the solution, all of a sudden it’s time to appeal to lame anarchist theory you don’t actually believe in. It gets even better when you dip into Keynesianism to defend the tax cuts (we can’t raise taxes in a recession!). That’s really precious.

        1. Taxes have nothing to do with freedom

          And to think that yesterday we were taken to task for accusing leftists of not believing in private property rights.

        2. We care about government spending money on things it shouldn’t be doing. I don’t care if they were making a profit instead of debt. Debt is a side effect of the problem.

        3. Re: Tony,

          Because one of the largest contributors to the country’s debt is the Bush tax cuts that weren’t offset by spending cuts.

          See how you see things backwards? Tax cuts do not contribute to debt – it is RELYING on debt with contributes to debt, just like my lost income does not contribute to my debt.

        4. Because one of the largest contributors to the country’s debt is the Bush tax cuts that weren’t offset by spending cuts. If we have to make painful spending cuts to solve the debt, there is absolutely no reason we can’t entertain the notion of restoring that revenue, so they don’t have to be as painful.

          So you have no answer to this question: Why are tax hikes necessary for eliminating the deficit?

          Taxes have nothing to do with freedom, and you’re a bunch of dishonest weasels for playing this game instead of answering the question.

          If taxes are not an infringement of freedom, then I should be able to stop paying them of my own free will. Can I do this?

          You care so much about debt and balanced budgets, but when it comes to an obvious contributor to the solution, all of a sudden it’s time to appeal to lame anarchist theory you don’t actually believe in.

          It’s a signal that you’re losing an argument when you have to make such claims. You caught me Tony! I’m paid by the Kochs to say these things. I don’t actually believe them!

          I want the government to stop stealing from Peter to pay Paul because I think doing so is wrong. Stealing more from Paul is also wrong. Not that hard to figure out, but I like the whole feigned ignorance thing you’ve got going here.

          It gets even better when you dip into Keynesianism to defend the tax cuts (we can’t raise taxes in a recession!). That’s really precious.

          Well that’s just the cherry on top of this shitty rhetorical sundae isn’t it? Putting words in my mouth… you’d make a great politician.

          No Tony, taxing is wrong no matter how the economy is doing.

          1. Why are tax hikes necessary for eliminating the deficit?

            They’re not necessary if you’re OK with making deep cuts into programs most people don’t want to cut. But letting all the Bush tax cuts expire would more than halve deficits to 2015 and cut by almost a third to 2030. And absolutely nobody, anywhere, would suffer in the least.

            No Tony, taxing is wrong no matter how the economy is doing.

            Forgive me, so you are an anarchist loon. If you have delusional fantasies about how government shouldn’t exist, you have nothing useful to contribute. Reality still matters.

            1. Re: Tony,

              They’re not necessary if you’re OK with making deep cuts into programs most people don’t want to cut.

              Well, are you OK? And why would it matter if “most people” don’t want the programs cut? Why is that relevant? Most people don’t want to have their hearts broken, either, yet it happens. Wishes do not justify policy.

              But letting all the Bush tax cuts expire would more than halve deficits to 2015 and cut by almost a third to 2030.

              Ahem… Yeah, but only if Congress froze spending in toto.

              And absolutely nobody, anywhere, would suffer in the least.

              Suffer what?

              Forgive me, so you are an anarchist loon.

              For Tony here, pointing out the detrimental effects of taxation makes one an “anarchist loon.”

              “When in doubt, defame.”
              Old Statist proverb.

              1. nd why would it matter if “most people” don’t want the programs cut? Why is that relevant?

                Because this is still to an extent a country run by consent of the governed? Why should most people be forced to take what you want to give them? If you don’t account for the wishes of the people, then you’re just an autocrat wannabe.

                Suffer what?

                Anything. Nobody, anywhere, would suffer in the slightest by expiring the Bush tax cuts. Which is not the case if we’re talking about cutting social security and medicare or other programs for the poor, old, and infirm. Why should they have to suffer even more before the rich give up a meaningless amount in tax money that was never offset in the first place?

                For Tony here, pointing out the detrimental effects of taxation makes one an “anarchist loon.”

                The logical conclusion to your absolutist stance that taxes are always wrong is that there should be no taxes, hence no government. And to be an anarchist is to be a loon. They used to be confined to cabins in the wood. Now we have the Internet.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  Because this is still to an extent a country run by consent of the governed?

                  Why is this relevant to the question about the relevancy of people’s wishes? I don’t get it.

                  Why should most people be forced to take what you want to give them? [???] If you don’t account for the wishes of the people, then you’re just an autocrat wannabe.

                  I don’t see how one thing – your question – ties in with the rest. Be that as it may, not accomodating people’s wishes HARDLY makes one an autocrat, quite the contrary. Hitler was very good at taking into account people’s wishes. So is Hugo Chavez.

                  Anything. Nobody, anywhere, would suffer in the slightest by expiring the Bush tax cuts.

                  You’re not thinking. Ok, let me explain it to you: You’re not using your head.

                  Which is not the case if we’re talking about cutting social security and medicare or other programs for the poor, old, and infirm.

                  Taxing people to pay for those programs will only lead to not having people to tax, and no money to give away. You think of taxation as a spigot to the magic fountain of money, but that ain’t so, otherwise government would not have to resort to borrowing or printing money.

            2. “My intellectual opponents are delusional. They can’t come to the discussion. You can believe what you want as long as I approve of it.” Boring boring boring and completely pointless. This is not how intellectual debate is supposed to work! “Nothing useful to contribute”? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

        5. “Taxes have nothing to do with freedom”

          You’re saying that a person deciding how specifically they will be rewarded by society for providing value to society, rather than having someone in Washington decide that for them, is not a question of freedom?

          1. I’m saying freedom is a pointless abstraction without a functioning civilization, which, unless you have a better idea, requires taxes to maintain itself.

            1. We have a better idea.

      2. Re: heller,

        Why does raising taxes have to be on the table exactly?

        It doesn’t matter to Tony, he just hates the rich. Or at least, what he believes are the rich: you know, hedge fund managers and shit like that. I have not been able to find out the reason behind Tony’s preoccupation with hedge fund managers, but he finds them particularly odious, although his asinine overreliance on Labor Theory of Value may shed light on his hangup.

        1. What are you even doing here? Surely you don’t care about the national debt. It would be rich if you suddenly started caring about collective well-being when it’s a Republican hobbyhorse that’s being discussed.

          I do not formulate policy positions based on prejudices against certain types of people. That this is your go-to excuse for ignoring everything I say suggests that there’s a fair amount of projection going on.

          It’s not that I don’t have prejudices. I don’t like fat people, for instance. But I’m not gonna have policy positions that cater to that feeling.

          As a person whose only policy position is “anarchy now!” perhaps you just don’t understand why anyone would bother thinking about a sustainable, fair, and efficient system.

          1. Sustainable- government NEVER spends more than it has.
            Fair- no one is told to pay more or less.
            Efficient- government only does what is necessary.

          2. Re: Tony,

            Surely you don’t care about the national debt.

            Yup. I don’t care about the national debt. I couldn’t care less about the debt. You see, Tony, I don’t owe that money; when (not if) the government defaults, I will already be prepared. Are you?

            It would be rich if you suddenly started caring about collective well-being when it’s a Republican hobbyhorse that’s being discussed.

            There’s no such thing as collective well-being, Tony. Well being is an individual action, not a collective action.

            I do not formulate policy positions based on prejudices against certain types of people.

            Liar.

            As a person whose only policy position is “anarchy now!” perhaps you just don’t understand why anyone would bother thinking about a sustainable, fair, and efficient system.

            I don’t understand why anybody who is well in his or her head would bother, since it is an exercise in futility.

            1. I’ll be generous and say at least you’re consistent. Of course, to have policy positions (even if they begin and end at “anarchy now!”) is to assert a stance on collective well-being.

              If, as I suppose, you just want anarchy for yourself, fuck everyone else, then you’re just a political sociopath and nobody should pay attention to you or care what you have to say. You obviously don’t care whether your policies would harm other people. Don’t be surprised if other people don’t ever take you seriously.

              1. Re: Tony,

                You obviously don’t care whether your policies would harm other people.

                Au contraire, it is YOU who doesn’t care one bit. You see, I only want people to be free and leave others to be free and pursue their interests. YOU, on the other hand, want prescriptive impositions that require limiting a person’s freedom of choice – which one is more harmful?

                1. Yours by a longshot. You want to pretend that you aren’t offering policies. But there is no such thing as not having a policy. You want a vastly less organized civilization and you want to impose it on people who don’t want it, in the name of freedom. Most people don’t have a problem with civilization as they know it. And anyone in his right mind would not want what you’re offering, however much you slap a bumper sticker on it that says freedom.

                  1. Tony, you’re the one using a “bumper-sticker” here. Civilization and freedom are not exclusive. What you want and freedom are exclusive.

          3. When the government triples the spending and then we point out there’s a debt issue here, only a lockstep useful idiot could possibly think tax increases should be on the table.

            1. Seems to me that when government increases spending is the most appropriate time to talk about tax increases. Should it not pay for the things it buys?

              I get that you don’t think it should be buying most of what it does, but you’re supposed to be the fiscal conservative types. That has to entail raising more revenue sometimes, otherwise you’re just trying to achieve your policy ends through cynical dishonest Grover Norquistian means.

              1. Re: Tony,

                Seems to me that when government increases spending is the most appropriate time to talk about tax increases. Should it not pay for the things it buys?

                “Seems to me that my wife’s increases in spending cue in the most appropriate time to talk about robbing a few banks. Should they not pay for the things my wife buys?”

                Same shit.

                1. Yeah if you want more stuff the responsible thing to do is find a way to raise capital. Government’s means of doing so is taxation.

                  1. I don’t want more stuff. I want significantly less stuff, in fact.

                    So how about we raise capital from the people who do want more stuff?

                  2. So why didn’t the government raise taxes then? It seems to me the elected government increased spending without paying for it and then left some later elected government to decide on how to fix the problem.

                    If they wanted to increase spending, they should have immediately raised taxes to support the programs. If people didn’t want their taxes raised, then the programs the tax money was to be spent on shouldn’t exist.

                    Since this sensible scenario obviously didn’t happen, where do we go from here? People still don’t want their taxes raised, so we should cut the spending that pays for the programs that are bankrupting the government.

                    Why should current tax payers be beholden to the promises made by a previous government that was too irresponsible to adequately fund their spending?

                    1. So why didn’t the government raise taxes then? It seems to me the elected government increased spending without paying for it and then left some later elected government to decide on how to fix the problem.

                      How true. I can’t disagree with anything you said. But it’s hard to raise taxes when the dominant political narrative for decades has been that raising taxes is always bad. Thanks guys!

                    2. WTF are you talking about? The dominant political narrative has been that we need to spend more. Taxes have gone up and down. The thing that hasn’t changed is that spending, and the deficit, have gone up.

                  3. No, dumbass, you don’t raise “capital” in order to fund consumption. Christ, could you be more ignorant?

    3. If you’re talking about getting rid of “tax cuts”, and making all income tax rates an equal percentage, I’m all for it. You can increase taxes for the lower classes, and you can lower it for those paying the higher percentages. Meet somewhere in the middle. Then I might consider higher overall taxes to be reasonable- just to pay debts.

      1. It’s so fascinating how this actually sounds fair to you.

        1. I knew you wouldn’t like raising taxes on the poor. Neither do I. Its not fair to make anyone pay more- rich or poor.

          1. Why not? Does that ethic extend to everyday life? If gas goes up a dime, is that an injustice? What is so different about the cost of government? It’s gotta be paid for. Either you cut stuff or you raise revenue. If you run out of things that people don’t mind getting rid of, that leaves one choice, and it’s nothing but fair.

            1. “If you run out of things that people don’t mind getting rid of”

              When did that happen?

            2. Re: Tony,

              If gas goes up a dime, is that an injustice? What is so different about the cost of government?

              I can choose to buy gas. Can you choose not to “buy” government?

              1. Yep. Nobody is forcing you to make an income or to buy stuff. You can not pay taxes. You won’t like your lifestyle very much, but that’s your problem.

                1. Re: Tony,

                  You won’t like your lifestyle very much, but that’s your problem.

                  The statist mentality, in a nutshell: “Put up, or get out/land you in jail/kill you.”

                  1. Um, shut up. You are the one telling people they’re on their own. You don’t want to pay taxes? You don’t get to benefit from the existence of the state, except what it generously cedes to you in the name of compassion or efficiency.

                    1. Yes, now you are finally getting it Tony, I don’t want the state’s services, nor should I have to pay for them. Thank you for admitting that anarchism is correct.

                2. Nobody is forcing you to make an income or to buy stuff. You can not pay taxes. You won’t like your lifestyle very much, but that’s your problem.

                  Actually, Tony, laws that mandate people to be fined and/or thrown in jail for not paying taxes are the very definition of force, you moron.

            3. Tony, no one is forcing you to buy gas. Because of this, sellers of gas have to keep their prices down so that you will buy gas.

              The government can raise spending on anything it wants, and the taxpayers have to foot the bill no matter what.

              1. No one is forcing you to pay taxes. Yeah, there are taxes on an income you may want to earn or things you want to buy, but nobody is forcing you to do those things. Be poor. Or move to Antarctica. Don’t like those options? Tough titties. It seems that paying taxes is not the worst thing in the world.

                1. You realize that the government disagrees with you and that you will continue to owe taxes to the United States even if you leave the United States.

                  Not to mention the fee you have to pay the government to leave the country permanently.

    4. Here you go Tony:

      Gifts to the United States
      U.S. Department of the Treasury
      Credit Accounting Branch
      3700 East-West Highway, Room 622D
      Hyattsville, MD 20782

      Give until it feels good.

    5. The ONLY reason you want the “Bush tax cuts” rescinded is because Bush cut the taxes. His name is on it, so it must be bad.

      Cut spending, and leave taxes the fuck alone. They’re high enough as is.

  6. Don’t Raise the Debt Ceiling, Lower the Spending[*]

    Sabrina, don’t just stare at it, eat it!

    1. Only if you feed me a stray cat.

  7. “A homeowner could decide to ‘prioritize’ and continue paying monthly mortgage payments, while opting to cease paying other obligations, such as car payments, insurance premiums, student loan and credit-card payments, utilities, and so forth. Although the mortgage would be paid, the damage to that homeowner’s creditworthiness would be severe.”

    Well, I guess somebody told him that his repeated claim that failing to raise the debt ceiling was a default on our bonds was a flatout lie, so this particular pile of crap is at least a fresh one.

    Of course, when he lists various consumer debts that would not be paid, he is being misleading, because we are talking about having the government stay current on its debt, not pay some bonds and not others.

    The bigger point is that a lot of government spending is not a legally enforceable obligation of the government. Including, most notably, Social Security. Other reductions in spending wouldn’t occur because the government simply starting bouncing checks under existing contracts. Instead, programs would be eliminated, etc.

    There is no reason at all why deep cuts in the federal budget would hurt the US credit rating.

    So its a fresh pile of crap, but it still smells the same.

    1. Deep cuts in federal spending would greatly IMPROVE the US credit rating, thus lowering the amount that has to be paid on any existing debt that is rolled over.

      If these out of control deficits continue much longer, T-bills will quit being regarded as the safest investments possible, as people nervously contemplate massive inflation or default.

    1. Aha!! So Chad is really Michael Moore!

      You know, Chad, the one that said everybody should “return” at least 33% back to “society” of what we “took” from “society”?

      For statist fucks like Chad (and Michael Moore, by the looks of it,) one “takes” from society; one does not indulge in mutually-beneficial exchange.

      1. You know, Chad, the one that said everybody should “return” at least 33% back to “society” of what we “took” from “society”?

        Doesn’t the catholic church say the same thing?

  8. “”Mr. Toomey’s plan would, leaves $1.9 trillion for Congress to spend. That’s enough to pay for Social Security ($741 billion), Medicare ($488 billion), and Medicaid ($276 billion), with $395 billion left for other programs.””

    No republican would go for that. Too little left for the Pentagon.

  9. Man, if there was the money to do it (Hey Ben, can you print me up some of those fed reserve notes…thanks) this spot should be run all over the place.

    On to the budget….

    Channeling my inner Bevis and Butthead – Chain Saw, chain saw, chain saw…bzzzzzz, bzzzzzz…pht…pht..buzzzz

  10. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner called Mr. Toomey’s bill “quite harmful” and “unworkable.”

    Good grief.

    I appreciate the charitable urge to hire the differently abled, and all, but not for the job of Secretary of the Fucking Treasury.

  11. Put yourselves in the place of David Brooks and read this.

    1. I would rather gouge my eyes out and have them for breakfast…

    2. Wow I don’t know who is more full of shit, David Brooks or the guy who wrote this…

      1. I read Slate a lot and Tom Socca is just your typical statist douchebag who thinks moralizing and guilt-tripping the reader is an effective argument.

        1. Cage match with Brooks and Pauly Krugnuts. Two men enter, no man leaves.

  12. Shorter Toomey: Aside from entitlements we promised to our citizens, all other spending should have to be justified and prioritized.

    Shorter Geithner: Every dime the government spends is justified and has equal priority.

  13. And he used this analogy of a typical American homeowner to explain why: “A homeowner could decide to ‘prioritize’ and continue paying monthly mortgage payments, while opting to cease paying other obligations, such as car payments,

    Oh now the federal budget is like a household budget.

  14. When tough financial times hit, families eat out less, go to fewer movies, buy fewer clothes and postpone vacations. If those things don’t save enough, then they might borrow money to pay bills or skip payments.

    We’d also forego that trip to Vermont to see the leaves change.

    1. And we’d forgo it, too.

  15. Because one of the largest contributors to the country’s debt is the Bush tax cuts that weren’t offset by spending cuts.”

    So let’s make the spending cuts, then. I see a big fat Department of Agriculture that employs more people then there are farmers in the United States, a Department of Energy that chokes competition in the industry of its namesake, and a Department of Education which violates the Constitution. Close overseas military bases, make the War on Terror’s goal simply to capture Osama bin Laden and then leave the Middle East, and so on. There are tons and tons of cuts if you’re willing to look hard enough, Tony. Even cutting *gasp* welfare!

    “If we have to make painful spending cuts to solve the debt, there is absolutely no reason we can’t entertain the notion of restoring that revenue, so they don’t have to be as painful.”

    Isn’t that cute, you think that consumption and investment patterns remain static when taxes are raised.

    “Taxes have nothing to do with freedom, and you’re a bunch of dishonest weasels for playing this game instead of answering the question.”

    If a private individual steals 50% of your income, he’s a thief. If the government steals 50% of your income, it’s taxation. A complete and total double standard.

    “You care so much about debt and balanced budgets, but when it comes to an obvious contributor to the solution, all of a sudden it’s time to appeal to lame anarchist theory you don’t actually believe in.”

    I care about the national debt and deficit insofar as those things negatively impact business (crowding out, regime uncertainty, etc). I don’t really care about the solvency of the government.

    And you finally caught me, Tony. I’m not really an anarchist. I’m actually a pro-crypto-fascist, just like William Buckley.

    “It gets even better when you dip into Keynesianism to defend the tax cuts (we can’t raise taxes in a recession!).”

    Yeah, because Keynes totally supported tax cuts. It’s not like he was ideologically fascist or anything, he was a small-government minarchist. Maybe you’d like to dredge up a quote from “The General Theory” or any other essays by Keynes to support this?

    And this is just plain-old dishonesty. I haven’t seen a single libertarian support lowering taxes to shift aggregate demand to the right. We support lower taxes because it reduces dead weight loss, increases the incentive to work, puts resources back into the hands of private individuals, forces government to spend less, and reduces theft.

    This post was just trolling on your part. I’m disappointed.

  16. Tony|3.2.11 @ 4:38PM|#
    “Or raise taxes. It’s gotta be on the table if you people are serious at all.”

    Bullshit.
    And your opinion about whether anyone is serious or not are NWS.
    You have made it clear that all money belongs to the state and everyone out to be pleased if the state doesn’t take it all. Anyone who believes that is truly evil.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.