The President does not come right out and say it, but it is implied that if only we raise taxes on the rich all of our budgetary problems would disappear. Listen to this clip.
He says if we take money from the rich and give it the poor the economy will be back in balance. The word ‘balance’ is in there for a reason. People hear that and they think “balanced budget”. Then they make the leap from “balance budget’ to “Tax the rich and we balance the budget”. Again, the President doesn’t say this. But, it is clear he wants you to infer this.
So, first let’s shoot that down right now. The Clinton Tax Rate Increases, that President Obama wants Congress to reinstitute on families making above $250,000 and individuals making above $200,000 (millionaires?) are projected to raise annual revenue from as little as 65 billion per year to as much as 400 billion per year. Other sources say revenues will actually go down as those “rich’ people shelter their income more efficiently.
For argument’s sake let’s say that we will be rolling in the dough and bringing in 400 billion more each year. In 2011 the budget deficit, the amount money we need to bring in so we have as much as we spend each year, was 1.6 trillion. That’s trillion with a capital ‘T”. That’s trillion, as in 1000 billion. The 400 billion of additional revenue is a big maybe. The 1.6 trillion shortfall is a carved-in-stone fact. We are talking a pie-in-the sky- best-case scenario of reducing the deficit by 25%.
You say “Great! That’s a good start”. I say “Weren’t you listening?” Maybe we will raise 400 billion. We might get even less money. But, we are definitely planning on spending every dime and then some to create the deficit.
“Yeah, but we can try it and maybe at the same time reduce spending in areas where we can afford it; like Defense. You know we spend more than every other country in that area.” comes your reply.
We have played this game before. If we cut out every single dollar going to Defense, every single dollar, our deficit drops from 1.6 trillion to 700 billion. So if we tax the rich, cut out all defense (throwing a few million people out of work in the process, and turning our Recession into a full fledged Depression) we are still 300 billion short, IF things play out in the best case scenario. But, we also get invaded by a foreign country (other than Mexico), and must learn to speak Russian, Chinese, or Farsi.