Monday, August 2, 2010

The Economic Truth in Print? How Unusual

Fareed Zakaria in the Washington Post today:

"The idea that the average American is overtaxed is a nice piece of populist pandering. In fact, federal taxes as a percentage of the economy are at their lowest level since the Truman administration. Chuck Marr and Gillian Brunet of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities have calculated that a family of four at the exact middle of the income spectrum will pay only 4.6 percent of its income in taxes...

The simple facts are these: All of the Bush tax cuts were unaffordable. They were an irresponsible act of hubris enacted during an economic boom. Conservatives thought they would force us to shrink the government. But with Republicans controlling the White House and both houses of Congress, did reduced taxes cause reduced spending? No. They led to ever-increasing borrowing and a ballooning deficit. We have one of the smallest governments among all the world's rich countries. Yet we refuse to pay for it."

These are just highlights of a really excellent article, and I suggest you read it all. What he has to say is so obvious that it is a sign of the degradation of our political life that it is nearly a miracle when someone manages to utter them in public, without being torn to shreds by conservative smear masters. Of course, if a lot more people don't start pointing out things like this, we are going to end up looking like a gigantic version of El Salvador in the very near future.

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