Republicans seem to have two beliefs about taxes: First, taxes can go down, but never up, and second, no matter how high taxes are, they’re too high. That stance is “intransigently divorced from reality,” writes Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post. Just as Democrats have to accept the need to curb spending, Republicans need to realize that the government needs more revenue. Letting the Bush tax cuts expire is a great place to start.
When Bush enacted his tax cuts, the argument was—imagine this—that the surplus was too large. So Bush got his tax cuts, and the national debt swelled from $3.3 trillion to $9 trillion. Now, we’re in the opposite situation, and we can’t let the cuts expire, even for the super-rich, because the economy might suffer. “This would be more convincing if the Republican line were something other than ‘no new taxes ever,’” and if the rich weren’t the least likely to spend that money, Marcus concludes.