Raising taxes: what’s the actual argument?
November 28, 2012 10 Comments
I asked this deep in some comment, but am bringing it up here just in case there’s an actual answer:
Why is raising taxes even on the table? Has someone made a rational argument for raising taxes and I missed it? Who? Where?
Note, I understand the power-politics reason why raising taxes is on the table. Raising taxes is on the table because the (D) party has the Senate and the Presidency and made gains in the House, so they will try to push their POV, which is, always and perennially, Let’s raise taxes! (Fun medical fact: you can tap a lefty on the knee with a doctor’s hammer, and he’ll blurt out “Let’s raise taxes!”)
There is also a very circumstantial reason why raising taxes is on the table, i.e., because the “Bush tax cuts”™ are expiring, and so, if Something Isn’t Done, then some taxes will go up automatically.
I get all that but that’s not what I’m asking. What I’m asking is: why do the (D)s want to raise taxes? Or let me clarify (because perhaps the answer to that is psychological, and that’s not what I’m going for): what is their rational argument for raising taxes?
In other words, pretend I’m a simpleton. (I know, it’s hard.) And I ask a lefty, innocently: “Wait, so why should any taxes be raised? At all? On anyone?” Their verbal answer (even if it’s not their actual, subconscious motivating answer) will be “Because _______”. I’m wondering what goes in the blank space there.
Is it ‘the deficit’? But that can’t be right. No lefty that I have seen anywhere in any recent memory gives a rat’s ass about the deficit. Actually even that is overstating things. No lefty gives a flying fuck about the deficit. Correction: no lefty gives a flying rat’s fucked ass about the deficit. Lefties want Stimulus! More Stimulus is better! However much Stimulus was done isn’t enough! ‘The deficit’ is not a consideration at all. We should spend X and if we do spend X then X wasn’t enough because we should really spend 2X. For all X. ‘Deficit’ schmeficit. This is crystal clear from basically all lefty commentary from anywhere.
So it can’t be ‘the deficit’.
Perhaps it’s ‘fairness’? Because, like, it’s ‘unfair’ if so-and-so pays X while whatshisface pays Y? But that’s not an argument for raising anyone’s taxes either, per se. You could always just reduce the taxes paid by so-and-so till the discrepancy becomes ‘fair’, whatever you think that means. (If that makes so-and-so’s taxes go negative, i.e. they get an EITC or whatever, so be it! After all, whatever’s ‘fair’.)
What’s that? Lefties reject that approach because it would make ‘the deficit’ bigger and they totally care about that?
Seriously, what am I missing? Where is the actual argument?