• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Stark's Remarks on Taxes Revealing in Ways He May Not Intend

    In a body known for intemperate remarks and fabricated figures, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) put in a worthy nominee for top honors in 2008 recently when he said:

    … the unfunded cost of the McCain-Bush tax cuts is more than $100 trillion. So if you weren’t giving away all of this money to the rich people and all of the Republicans who inherited money from their parents and never had a real job in their lives, maybe we could solve it. It would just take a third of the Bush-McCain tax cuts to solve the unfunded liability for the next 75 years for Medicare.

    Oh the many gems compliments of the California gentleman. First, we have the idea of an “unfunded cost” of a tax cut. This may be a residual slip from previous attempts to prevent an AMT-based tax hike by raising taxes, which only makes sense in certain Washington circles. Only an increase in spending can be unfunded. Tax cuts unfund government.

    Then there’s the idea that by letting citizens keep more of their own money, government is “giving away all this money,” implying that the money really belongs to the government in the first place. We used to call that communism, but we don’t do that in polite circles anymore. Whether rich or poor, it’s their money first, Congressman.

    Perhaps the most pernicious of all is his notion that by raising taxes on the rich we can solve the problem with Medicare for the next 75 years. The good news is that this may be the first recorded instance in which Stark publicly admits that Medicare even has a problem. We have no polling on this, but Stark’s belated admission could make agreement on that point unanimous, finally.

    But he really needs to be more careful with his numbers. According to the Congressional Budget Office, Medicare spending is slated to rise from 2.7% of Gross Domestic Product in 2007 to 15.6% of GDP in 2082. To put that in perspective, it is almost twice the total of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid spending in 2007. No amount of taxation of the rich is going to make up a difference equal to nearly 13% of our economy — unless as many suppose, Stark intends to define the rich as anyone not in poverty, a definition the middle class may not appreciate.

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Stark's Remarks on Taxes Revealing in Ways He May Not Intend

    1. Darvin Dowdy, Houst says:

      The democrat party is terminal. They're dying. They've shot themselves in the foot one too many times. They've moved so far to the anti-U.S. left that they can never return. This is a "Stark" reminder for us. Its really time to stop reacting to these poor, pathetic losers and simply ignore them.

      Its also time for good, responsible folks to begin the process of forming a new "2nd" party to replace the deceased. If good folks don't fill the void in representation, then scoundrels will see to it. DD

    2. Terrance, Richmond, says:

      This is the mindset of the socialist. To the socialist, the people governed are nothing more than the means of funding the government. Since most people would protest having their earnings (for which they have traded a piece of their very lives) confiscated without some benefit, the socialist makes promises of "programs" that will cover everything from medical care to retirement to ensuring that everyone has a nice place to live. But since when has the government done anything that the private sector couldn't have done better or more efficiently? To the socialist, money isn't part of the fundamental right of private property. Democrats say that they only care about "the people" and making sure that "the people" are taken care of. But Goldwater got this right all the way back in 1964….the Conservative is the one who cares about the people and providing the best way for people to succeed. The Socialist only cares about the cost of a person and his or her earning potential. How much can we take away and how much must we give back? Normally, the Democrat socialists are smart enough to use their party-approved euphemisms. Mr. Stark is apparently twice cursed…stupid and wrong.

    3. Harry in Chicago says:

      Any discussion or critique concerning the politics of those on the left must be based on socialist ideology. To refer to themselves as democrats is insulting to every ear as there is nothing democratic about their views. They are socialists and we need to refer to them as such.

      In 1927, a six-time presidential candidate on the socialist party ticket, Norman Thomas said the following, "America will never vote for socialism. But under the term "liberalism", will vote for every facet of the socialist program."

      I wonder how many self-proclaimed liberals know what they are endorsing?

    4. Steve in Detroit says:


      You say that the Democratic party is "terminal." Remember in the last election that nearly half the voters cast their ballot for the democratic nominee. The unfortunate thing is that this is a nation full of people that think the government will "change" things and fix all of their problems. I just about lost all faith in this country to do the right thing.

    5. Alyce, California says:

      Don't know what cave Pete Stark has been living in–he's so very wrong in every direction!! On just one issue for example, Social Security–it

      wouldn't be in such dire trouble, if Congress had

      not repeatedly robbed those funds (replacing the

      money with I.O.U's.) for unrelated agendas, FOR

      DECADES AND DECADES!!!! Because of people like him, Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Murtha, etc., our beloved country is teetering on the edge of big

      time disaster!!!! Factor in, uneducated, illiterate, gullible, politically uninformed people WHO VOTE–well, you do see the problem.

      Pray for all of us and hope He's listening!!!!!!

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.