Friday, February 18, 2011

Asking for a raise

I have long said that anybody who compares the federal government to a family with a budget is being fundamentally dishonest when they pretend that that family doesn't ever think about (a) asking the boss for a raise or (b) getting a higher-paying job or (c) getting a second job.

Today Paul Krugman points out the same thing.
This brings me to the seventh word of my summary of the real fiscal issues: if you’re serious about the deficit, you should be willing to consider closing at least part of this gap with higher taxes. True, higher taxes aren’t popular, but neither are cuts in government programs. So we should add to the roster of fundamentally unserious people anyone who talks about the deficit — as most of our prominent deficit scolds do — as if it were purely a spending issue.

The bottom line, then, is that while the budget is all over the news, we’re not having a real debate; it’s all sound, fury, and posturing, telling us a lot about the cynicism of politicians but signifying nothing in terms of actual deficit reduction. And we shouldn’t indulge those politicians by pretending otherwise
Raising taxes is as reasonable as cutting spending if all you're concerned about is the deficit. Those who flatly refuse to even think about taxes are not serious about the deficit; they have a different agenda.

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