Tax Increases: Accepting The Inevitable

In the New York Times today, David Leonhardt announced the formation of “Club Wagner.” It’s named after Adolf Wagner who postulated that as societies prospered taxes would increase due to a demand for more government services. Members of the club are those who favor increasing taxes in the U.S.

Maybe I should rephrase that last sentence. The members recognize that the current tax system generates insufficient revenues to fund the promises of the state and believe that as part of a rational fiscal plan, revenues raised through taxation need to increase. Reluctantly, I have to say that I would count myself a member of the club.

Perhaps, eight or ten years ago, had we taken appropriate measures, we could have avoided arriving at this crossroads, but we didn’t. Now the numbers are what they are, there isn’t rationally a means for the country to responsibly meet its obligations absent increased revenues. Simply cutting spending won’t get it done.

The point now is not to bay at the moon and oppose everything only to be run over by the inevitable. Rather it’s to admit to reality and try and shape something that will do the least damage and perhaps improve on the current system. Certainly it’s possible to construct a tax regime that favors employment and capital formation and contains far fewer distorting loopholes. That should be the goal.

About Tom Lindmark 401 Articles

I’m not sure that credentials mean much when it comes to writing about things but people seem to want to see them, so briefly here are mine. I have an undergraduate degree in economics from an undistinguished Midwestern university and masters in international business from an equally undistinguished Southwestern University. I spent a number of years working for large banks lending to lots of different industries. For the past few years, I’ve been engaged in real estate finance – primarily for commercial projects. Like a lot of other finance guys, I’m looking for a job at this point in time.

Given all of that, I suggest that you take what I write with the appropriate grain of salt. I try and figure out what’s behind the news but suspect that I’m often delusional. Nevertheless, I keep throwing things out there and occasionally it sticks. I do read the comments that readers leave and to the extent I can reply to them. I also reply to all emails so feel free to contact me if you want to discuss something at more length. Oh, I also have a very thick skin, so if you disagree feel free to say so.

Enjoy what I write and let me know when I’m off base – I probably won’t agree with you but don’t be shy.

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1 Comment on Tax Increases: Accepting The Inevitable

  1. Only in some remote, parallel universe, apparently the one you desperately wish to live in, are higher taxes ‘inevitable.’

    Now Ozzy, you go bark at the moon.

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