Bruce Bartlett takes on George Bush I, insisting that what our nation need is a new tax - specifically a national sales tax, which he prefers to deem a "value added tax". Bartlett concedes that this is a regressive tax, which burdens business and industry:
There are many arguments against a value-added tax, which is essentially a sales tax that applies at each stage of production. It is costly to put into effect, and it hits the poor and the elderly hardest because they spend a higher percentage of their incomeAfter observing that today's Republican leaders are so fiscally irresponsible, Bartlett argues,
This behavior has led me and other conservatives to conclude that starving the beast simply doesn't work anymore. Deficits are no longer a barrier to greater government spending. And with the baby-boom generation aging, spending is set to explode in coming years even if no new government programs are enacted.Ah... So he's not into starving the beast any more - just into making somebody else pay for its food. He anticipates a fiscal day of reckoning:
When that day comes, huge tax increases are inevitable because no one has the guts to seriously cut health spending. Therefore, the only question is how will the revenue be raised: in a smart way that preserves incentives and reduces growth as little as possible, or stupidly by raising marginal tax rates and making everything bad in our tax code worse?Well, if Bartlett has his way, in a stupid way that will place yet another immense burden on working America, while leaving the rich pretty much exempt. Last I checked, taxes were higher under Clinton, our last fiscally responsible President, and yet our economy grew quite nicely. I recognize that cutting taxes for the rich is a cornerstone of Republican fiscal policy, but how stupid do they expect Americans to, um, continue to be?