Tax Revenue Is A Means Not An End
From Slate Articles
November 30, 2012 - 8:23am
A cautionary word to liberals thinking about the fiscal cliff negotiations—it's important to keep in mind that higher tax revenue is a means not an end.
The reason a sensible person might want more revenue rather than less in a budget deal is that more revenue might allow you to minimize cuts in spending on worthwhile causes. But at the end of the day the budget of a sovereign state that borrows money in its own currency is all about spending levels. The proper goals of a budget negotiator are to maximize cuts to bad programs and minimize cuts to good ones. When higher taxes helps achieve the latter goal, that's great. When it doesn't, then who cares?
The trap you don't want to fall for is the one in which getting "the rich" to "pay their fair share" becomes a political plot to make you swallow a deal you'd otherwise reject. At some iterations of the Obama-Boehner...
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