Taxing and Spending and Balancing the Budget!

The Heritage Foundation’s Ed Feulner penned an op-ed in the Washington Times that does conservatives proud.  Really proud.  It is well worth reading in its entirety if you have any interest whatsoever in NOT following in the fiscal footsteps of Greece, Italy, Spain, and France.

Feulner frames his article with the story of a bunch of CEOs who sent a letter to Congress that in brief calls on lawmakers to do something to balance the budget, or specifically, to cut spending and raise taxes.

Without the slightest reservation or doubt, Feulner admonishes lawmakers that spending must be cut. “Now.”  But the fervor with which he advises cuts to spending is matched by the urgency with which he advises against tax hikes.  He explains that a “bargain” that includes a tax hike is no bargain at all, for American taxpayers or for the economy as a whole. 

He reminds us of how “President Reagan found [this] out the hard way.”  The bargain that was hammered out in 1982 was the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982… but as Feulner quipped, “Unfortunately, it proved to be low on both responsibility and equity.”

History has proven that a deficit is not healed by tax hikes but by budget cuts.  Why?

Businesses react to higher rates by slowing down and delaying economic activity. They won’t make the necessary investments because the payoff simply isn’t worth the risk. Thus, the hoped-for increase in revenue often fails to materialize.”

Some things never change.  Sound conservative principles certainly don’t.  What must change is the wild, ever-accelerating entitlement spending that has become the status quo in the U.S.   Moreover, Feulner suggests budget cuts across the board.

He wraps up his piece with a challenge, of sorts, for the CEOs who called for the tax hikes.  The challenge was originally suggested by J.D. Foster:

“They should tell us how much they are willing to see the taxes rise on themselves and their own companies.  Surely they are not so feckless as to propose a budget solution of taxing others. They should lead by example and have their own corporations take the first tax hike.”

Of course, they will not, Feulner wisely suggests.  Would you?

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