In a recent discussion, Robert “Beto” O’Rourke was asked if his preference is to roll back the tax cuts. His response has several points to consider:
“To generate the revenues to invest in people; to make sure that we’re not continuing to spend into ever greater debt, we’re going to have to make sure that everyone’s paying their fair share. Now the corporate tax rate just went from 35% to 21%. Doesn’t have to go all the way back up to where it was, but I do think it needs to be higher than where it is right now.”
First, I would ask O’Rourke to ponder the following situation: if you found that your family was “spend[ing] into ever greater debt,” with things like rising credit card bills; new car loans; a mortgage that is beyond your means; student loan debt that is not going away; furniture purchased on credit; doctor and dentist bills that are about to go into collection; payday loans to enable you to pay your electricity and water bills; etc., is your first thought that you need to increase your revenue somehow? Or is your FIRST thought that you need to put the brakes on the spending so that you don’t continue piling more debt on top of the already seemingly insurmountable bills that you have allowed to accumulate? Taking on a second job may be a smart decision once you stop accumulating new debt, but for most rational people, the first step would be to get on a budget and vastly reduce spending. In my family, we call it a “spending freeze,” and we have gone on quite a few of them, as necessary.
So why, when it comes to our country, do the Democrats always turn first to increasing taxes, and never seem to get around to talking about cutting spending. In fact, many of the policies in O’Rourke’s platform actually INCREASE spending, while he has no call to decrease spending, and thinks just raising taxes will put us back on the right path. If we don’t reduce spending, then raising taxes will do nothing to stop “spend[ing] into ever greater debt,” so his statement is disingenuous at best.
Let’s have a look at his call to raise the tax rate, though. Again, he tries to say this is to “make sure that we’re not continuing to spend into ever greater debt,” although he then clarifies his true intent: “to make sure that everyone’s paying their fair share.” That is, of course, deliberately ambiguous. There is no agreed upon meaning of “fair share,” and the Left loves to use the phrase because everyone is interested in what’s fair! The problem is that what’s fair to the Left is a long way from what’s fair to the Right. The Right doesn’t think it’s very fair that most people have to work until sometime in April every year before they have made enough money to pay what they owe to the government under the current tax structure, leaving them only the equivalent of around 2/3 of their salary to spend on their own bills and recreation. Somehow the Left thinks that people, especially “rich” people who earn over some magical number that also is never defined, should actually work much longer for the government each year. They also never bother to specify how much longer, or how much more they should be paying.
However, let’s take O’Rourke at face value and assume that he really does only want to increase taxes in order to slow down the accumulation of government debt by a smidge. Has he looked at the results of the tax cuts on tax revenues? They are up 9% in the first half of 2018 over last year, according to the nonpartisan CBO. So, if we take O’Rourke’s advice, we’ll have less revenue, and more spending. How will that prevent us from “spend[ing] into ever greater debt?” I mean, I understand that he only has a Bachelor’s degree in English Lit, but basic math is actually required, or it was in 1995 when he graduated anyway, for any degree program, so he should be able to work this out. Instead, he’s just dishing out more of the same unrealistic Leftist talking points that never work, simply pandering for votes. As a native Texan, I truly believe that most Texans are smart enough not to fall for it.