Get it from the big guys: solving the government budget

One reason the debate about the federal budget is so rancorous is that some are absolutely convinced that it can be solved simply by taxing the rich and those big evil corporations. From a rational perspective, that idea suffers as Sowell points out in describing his plan. (Another Spending Cut Plan at Townhall)

The liberals’ easy solution is just to increase taxes on “the rich.” But, if you do the math, there aren’t enough of “the rich” to cover the huge and record-breaking deficit.

One reason for this effort to increase income and avoid any reductions in spending shows up in the debate as well.

Trying to reduce the deficit by cutting spending runs into an old familiar counter-attack. There will be all kinds of claims by politicians and sad stories in the media about how these cuts will cause the poor to go hungry, the sick to be left to die, etc.

What Sowell points out is that there is a confluence between the idea of getting government money from those rich corporations and reducing spending.

Big corporations also get big bucks from the government, not only in agricultural subsidies but also in the name of “green” policies, in the name of “alternative energy” policies, and in the name of whatever else will rationalize shoveling the taxpayers’ money out the door to whomever the administration designates, for its own political reasons.

The usual political counter-attacks against spending cuts will not work against this new kind of spending cut approach. How many heart-rending stories can the media run about billionaires who have lost their handouts from the taxpayers? How many tears will be shed if General Motors gets dumped off the gravy train?

These subsidies can be outright payments – such as those to southern black wanna-be farmers that is a scandal floating just under the radar – or they can be tax credits and deductions – loopholes – that some current plans suggest closing.

With a budget that is as big as the current federal budget, the challenge for any who want to reduce it is in picking the right targets. That is the suggest Sowell makes.

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