Attention to the Deficit Disorder

Whenever you hear anyone belabor, lament or just plain whine about how high taxes are and how we’ve got to, just got to, take care of the deficit or else all their sweet little baby prayers will never be answered, just go ahead and call their bluff. Because the simplest argument is always the best one.

“[Y]ou should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes,” Jon Kyl said on Fox News Sunday. “Surely Congress has the authority, and it would be right to — if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”

What he’s admitting is that it’s okay to cut the estate tax, nevah (evah) mind the deficit, and to eliminate capital gains taxes and to treat shareholder dividends as anything but taxable income but, but any tax relief at the lower end of the economic pyramid must always be balanced with spending cuts. It’s crazy, incoherent, chauvinistic classism not at its best but at its most American, self-selving finest, a brand that wealthy people have been able to obscure with moral concerns about federal budget deficits for at least thirty fifty years. And now it greatly accepted as gospel, except that none of it is true.

Understand the laziness dodge, the immorality of budget deficits and the government keeping its hands of your money, because they are all of a piece. The gentle creatures care nothing about the supposed deficit and will balloon it with tax cuts as soon as they are proposed. It’s another euphemism, aided by the (linguistic) fact that keeping up with the green is complicated.