Newspaper headlines can’t say everything, and this particular one left a lot unsaid.
“Millionaire tax is popular, poll finds,” heralded a recent Associated Press/GfK poll.
Yes, but. And this is as big a “but” as you’ve seen in awhile.
Americans do like the president’s proposal to tax the rich – but – “they’d still rather cut spending than boost taxes to balance the federal budget,” the AP writes.
“By 56 percent to 31 percent, more embraced cuts in government services than higher taxes as the best medicine ...”
In short, the Democrats are right. But so are the Republicans.
If that seems not to make sense, it very well could – if the two parties could swallow their considerable election-year pride and work together. Take a cue from the public, and cut spending first!
It need not hurt as much as some fear. There’s plenty of fat that can go before anything else; books and reports on the Washington waste are legion. But there are also a lot of other government functions that could be left for the states, and the people, to do for themselves (as the 10th Amendment seems to require). It just takes political will.
But, no. It’s so much easier to demonize the wealthy and just go for more of their money – and to claim over and over that those who pay the lion’s share of the nation’s taxes aren’t paying “their fair share.” And without any accounting for how the money Washington already has is being spent. None whatsoever.
Can you see why folks aren’t jumping at the chance to feed this overeating, unaccountable monster? Even Warren Buffett, who complains he doesn’t pay enough in taxes, apparently hasn’t coughed up any extra. Buffett, says the plainspoken New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, “should just write a check and shut up.”
It’s a good bet a bunch of people would, if they thought it was put to good use.