One interesting post-election strand in conservative thought has been what I’ll call getting revenge for voting for revenge. President Obama claims to have a mandate for raising taxes, so conservatives are looking for ways of making Obama voters pay for those tax increases.
- Tim Geithner, a man who knows all about not paying taxes, wants tax rates to go back to the Clinton era rates. I am all for this as long as total federal spending (including entitlement spending, off the books spending, emergency spending, etc.) returns to Clinton era levels.
- Some conservatives, as I mentioned, are looking at ways of sticking it to leftists. One potential method is to raise taxes that disproportionately hit left-wing states. This includes removing deductions on mortgage interest after a certain amount, removing the deduction for state income taxes, etc. Stefan Karlsson points out that an excise tax on Hollywood movies would hurt their pocketbooks as well.
- Some people are taking a more direct approach. There’s no way to guarantee how a person voted, but raising fees on people who displayed Obama or Democratic signs on their property could work.
- Naturally, leftists don’t want to pay additional taxes, so they argue against these; they prefer that other people pay the extra money. Similarly, the Washington Post isn’t waiting until dividend taxes go up and are instead front-loading their dividends. These are some of the same groups of people who castigated Mitt Romney for not paying “enough” taxes by using entirely-legal mechanisms to reduce his tax burden, so I’m waiting for Paul Krugman or Dana Milbank to lay into the corporate fatcats at the Times and Post for being so unpatriotic that they don’t even want to pay more taxes.
- Welfare spending versus poverty. We have reached a point in which it makes fiscal sense to hand over a wad of cash to people who are actually poor, rather than running these programs.
- Now that the election is over, leftists can stop pretending to be stupid about entitlement reform. They didn’t want accidentally to endorse a serious proposal associated with Paul Ryan (and a number of Democrats), after all.