The big question right now is whether about Republicans should agree to tax increases in order to avoid what scold the fiscal cliff. From a conservative perspective, we don’t need more taxes, we need a fundamental reduction in government spending and a plan to reform entitlements. However, Democrats insist that any plans include tax increases. Sage advice suggests that a combination of spending cuts and tax increases as a compromise could work in theory.
However, the problem in reality is that time and time again the Democrats are shown that they’re not serious about bringing down spending. What’s happened in the past thirty years on several occasions is we’ve had these agreements to cut spending and raise taxes between Republicans and Democrats. That the spending have not been followed through on in the long term but the taxes have gone up.
Spending cuts as part of these big deals far-off promises that politicians will fulfill in the great by-and-by. The popular stratagem when announcing a trillion dollar spending cut over ten years is to put $800 billion in the ninth and tenth year, effectively leaving the tough choice to someone else or for a time after voters have forgotten about the agreement. Because of this, politicians invariably decide to back away from those commitments. Meanwhile, the tax increases are automatic and statutory and require special effort in order to reverse. If Republicans are expecting anything different from this president and congressional Democrats, they really are ignoring a history of the Democratic Party’s tactic on these issues.
If there is to be any sort of grand deal to reduce the deficit and we have to see a more serious effort. For one thing, we should see government departments agencies and offices actually close the rather than cuts coming from hiring freezes and waiting for attrition to technically reduce the government payroll. , We should see serious reforms of entitlements.
If neither of these elements are present, then any sort of grand bargain is really just a grand scam. It is foolish to expect the Congress will abide by agreements to cut spending when they never have in the past, and there’s no sign that any efforts have been made to make a deal that’s structurally different from all the failed deficit reduction packs of the past.