For the past two years of publishing this site, I've endeavoured to keep the blog neutral politically. But every once in a awhile there are reasons to comment. Recently, at both the state and national levels in the United States, public debt has produced a major rhetorical crisis, that in turn threatens the basic underpinnings of the "full faith and credit of the United States." This website is all about taxes, specifically US taxes, and US taxes levied to pay for the additional costs of a war. Roosevelt did what Bush did not do, and signed into law taxes that would pay for the costs of waging war.
From The Economist magazine of July 7:
The sticking-point is not on the spending side. It is because the vast majority of Republicans, driven on by the wilder-eyed members of their party and the cacophony of conservative media, are clinging to the position that not a single cent of deficit reduction must come from a higher tax take. This is economically illiterate and disgracefully cynical.
This newspaper has a strong dislike of big government; we have long argued that the main way to right America’s finances is through spending cuts. But you cannot get there without any tax rises. In Britain, for instance, the coalition government aims to tame its deficit with a 3:1 ratio of cuts to hikes. America’s tax take is at its lowest level for decades: even Ronald Reagan raised taxes when he needed to do so.
And the closer you look, the more unprincipled the Republicans look…. Both parties have in recent months been guilty of fiscal recklessness. Right now, though, the blame falls clearly on the Republicans.
I've been an Economist subscriber for nearly 20 years, and I've almost always found their level and steady editorial approach to be just my speed. We are still in agreement in July 2011