The following is a post which I hadn’t yet cross-posted from Poligazette. It was originally posted there January 11th.
It seems like we’re in for more of the same, in terms of taxes and spending, anyway. As Michael noted the other day, Obama has warned of an increase in the deficit for years to come. He is also apparently planning to push for round of tax cuts.
More spending coupled with tax cuts? Hang on, didn’t we just have eight years of this?
Of course, little of this comes as a surprise to me. I paid attention to the campaign, and saw him talk about all of this then. Doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I never understand the “cut taxes and spend anyway” attitude of the Republicans over the past eight years, and it doesn’t make sense to me now with Obama and the Democrats. I understand their reasoning: Obama feels it’s his duty to step in and fix things. It’s here that he and George Bush do not stray far from one another. Bush made this abundantly clear recently when he said that he had to “abandon free market principles to save the free-market system.” Obama also clearly feels the same way with his support for the auto industry bailout.
The trouble is that while this may work for today’s problems, it opens a load of problems for years down the road. Obama’s hope might be that less taxes would actually increase revenue. But if it doesn’t, spending would have to be cut across the board and taxes raised higher than spending in order to pay for all the debt. And not for a short time, either, but for years. To be honest, though, can anybody actually ever see all the debt being paid off? Not me.
So, yet again, future generations are being saddled with the debt from past generations. People like me will be expected to pay higher taxes to pay off the bailouts from today. Well, not really, since taxes are being lowered, see? But without a decrease in spending, deficits are increased, and the debt built up even more.
I might be more enthusiastic about people getting more money in their paychecks if it was going to stimulate the economy. But, like last time, people will probably use it to pay off their own debt. Meanwhile, the deficits rise.
If Obama was smart, when most of this economic crisis was over (assuming it is during his term), he’d immediately cut spending. But this isn’t likely to happen with his plans for healthcare and other social programs. And he’s still likely to support middle class tax cuts.
You can see how this issue just keeps snowballing.
Thus, the only way I can see some progress on fiscal responsibility is if the economic conservatives gain a foothold in 2010 in order to slow down the Democrats. That is, if there are any of them who can win then.