I have burned quite a bit of bandwith explaining why increasing taxes, as a matter of policy, is simply a bad idea. As I expected once the full results of Election 2012 became clear, there will be far fewer people – inside and outside the Republican Party – who share my view than ever.
As it happens, at least I won’t be alone; Grover Norquist has made it clear he opposes any tax increase – either by rates or by deduction elimination (NRO – Corner):
If any politician who has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge votes for a tax plan that doesn’t raise rates, but does change the current deduction structure in such a way that the government gets more revenue, he has violated the pledge, says Grover Norquist.
“If you raise taxes, it’s a problem with the pledge,” Norquist tells National Review Online. “Romney’s plan was always revenue-neutral — I’m in favor of getting rid of deductions and credits and reducing rates, as long as it’s revenue-neutral. That’s always been the Republican position.”
He also rejects the notion that a politician could not violate the pledge by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire as they are scheduled to do at the end of the year. “Not an option,” Norquist responds. “There will be a vote to continue all tax cuts.”
So Norquist has drawn the line, and I’m glad he has. I expect a whole slew of Republicans will cross it anyway; it’s been my assumption since the 7th that the House Republicans, by and large, will cave. I also expect that the focus will be on Grover’s pledge, with the usual suspects demanding that promises to the voters be broken – apparently only rubes are supposed to believe what politicians say during campaigns.
That said, raising taxes is still a bad idea, period. It’s nice to hear someone else say it.
Cross-posted to the right-wing liberal