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  • Semantics: “New Revenues” v. Tax Increases

    If you’re following the evolving terms of the budget debate, the hip new phrase is “new revenues.” It sounds so much cooler than “tax increases.”

    Both parties are massaging their rhetoric in the debt ceiling fight, and the media are using the phrase “new revenues” to describe proposals to reduce the U.S. deficit. Samples:

    • Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent tweeted, “Can someone please settle the question of whether GOP is also saying No to new revenues?”
    • Reuters reported that Senator Max Baucus (D–MT) “said new revenues had to be part of a balanced deal to reduce spending and increase the country’s borrowing authority.”
    • And, of course, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman wrote that “we need to raise new revenues in order to reinvest in the sources of our strength: education, infrastructure and government-funded research to push out the boundaries of knowledge.”

    The Post’s Ezra Klein expressed doubt that revenue could come from anything but tax increases as he reacted to a news story: “The most surprising quote in the story is from Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who told reporters ‘We are not opposed to revenues. We are just opposed to tax increases.’”

    Actually, that’s not a surprising thing to say. Revenues and tax increases are not the same concepts at all.

    The dreaded tax hike—and you know it’s dreaded when those who want to raise taxes are working so hard to find a less painful, less obvious way of advocating their position—is what happens when Congress changes the law to generate more tax revenue from the same people who are already paying. A tax hike just means Congress refused to prioritize, and they want taxpayers to pay for that failure.

    New revenues, on the other hand, can—and should—result from economic growth, which is exactly what the U.S. is lacking. The stream of revenue flowing into Washington increases when businesses are successful, when the unemployed find jobs, and when workers get raises. If the President would lift his anti-growth policies, we would see a stronger economy and, yes, “new revenues.”

    The best way to bring in “new revenues” is to reform the tax system and reduce government spending. This could balance the budget without raising taxes by one dime, as Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan proposes.


    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to Semantics: “New Revenues” v. Tax Increases

    1. Chas says:

      If we just had a federal sales tax, then EVERYONE would pay taxes when they purchased goods and services. Don't want to pay a lot of taxes? Then don't buy goods you don't need. Live within your means. Get rid of the credit cards. You'll be surprised of the amount of money you'll have left over in your pocket.

    2. Broke citizen says:

      We are already broke, leave us alone and try one of those pay cuts like you are giving everyone else.

    3. Lester says:

      The President and almost all of both Houses are still selling us down the drain. If they are serious about unemployment and revenue <TAXES> why do they not pay their fair share? If Oboma Care is so great, why are they keeping their pay hikes and special insurances>. If unemployment is to be fixed, open the oil drilling and production in the US <including Alaska>, open gas exploration and look at cheaper ways to improve quality and safety; and how about the Safe Coal Mining and burning? Yes also, get our farmers an open market to grow and produce what we in the US need. (THEY DO NOT WANT A FIX< THEY WANT MORE SPENDING AND DESTRUCTION OF THE US )

    4. Betsy says:

      Let all the politicians, the rich, overpaid sport players, each give 15% of their income, and this company wouldn't need taxes raised, this country wouldn't have a deficit. We the people, of middle, low and beyond poverty level, shouldn't have to suffer any more for all these overpaid people to live" high on the hog", as the old phrase goes. For what? sitting on their butts, discussing matters that never seem to get good results? For playing sports that we all played for fun as kids? granted, they all need an income, but "MILLIONS" a year?
      STOP, sending money to other countries, they don't do a damn thing to help us and it is money WE NEED for OUR ECONOMY!!!!!!!!
      Another source if revenue " Presidents who have been voted out of office, were technically fired right? Then WHY do we pay them a salary when they leave office? You or I would be on the unemployment line!!!!!!
      WAKE UP AMERICA, TIME TO TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK, PUT GOD BACK IN IT!!! Think about, since we have not been allowed to have GOD in our schools, on our money, told we have to try not to offend foreigners who come into our country, because of their beliefs, our country has been going down the tube. BRING GOD BACK and get OBAMA OUT OF OFFICE!!!!!!!!!!

    5. George Colgrove, VA says:

      "A tax hike just means Congress refused to prioritize, and they want taxpayers to pay for that failure."

      And we wont – we cant. We simply do not have the money – nor does DC. We are all going into debt – personal on up. There is simply not enough justification for this spending – across the board.

    6. Bobbie says:

      Good one, George!

      Where IS the constitutional justification?

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