Chris Usher, ASSOCIATED PRESS
The current budget negotiations in Washington are completely confounding. The small tax hike the president is proposing is very reasonable, will have no appreciable negative effect on the economy and is something he proposed in every debate and campaign speech prior to the election. The Republican opposition to the hike must be purely ideological — There's no economic reason to oppose it.
Taxes are not punitive or evil in any way. They're just the way government pays for itself. The Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge makes no sense at all; For politicians to vow never to raise taxes is the equivalent of a carpenter pledging never to use a screwdriver.
As for entitlement reform, the debate piles nonsense upon nonsense. I suggest applying payroll taxes to income earned through investments, by simply raising the ceiling from $110,000 to $300,000, which would fully fund both Social Security and Medicare.
Should the budget also be cut? Sure. We don't need military bases in Germany or Japan, and we don't need to support military golf courses in Guam. Cut half a trillion or so from defense, and we're good to go.
- In our opinion: U.S. needs immigration...
- Letter: Acting on immigration
- How America feels about Mitt Romney right now
- My view: Remembering JFK 51 years later
- Greg Bell: It's time to raise the gas tax
- In our opinion: 70 mph — driving at the...
- Michael Gerson: Obama’s executive order...
- Dan Liljenquist: Obamacare was a rude...
- In our opinion: U.S. needs immigration... 65
- Dan Liljenquist: Obamacare was a rude... 61
- Letter: Growing party divide 53
- Michael Gerson: Obama’s executive... 44
- How America feels about Mitt Romney... 40
- In our opinion: When it comes to... 40
- Letter: Acting on immigration 39
- My view: Global warming needs free market 26