NOW OR NEVER | SEPTEMBER 2012
By David Brown, Gabe Horwitz, and David Kendall
In this paper we shatter the myth that taxes on the wealthy can come close to solving our long-term budget problem. We readily acknowledge that raising taxes on top earners is necessary, but it is not sufficient to solve the looming fiscal crisis. And we make clear that if entitlements are left on autopilot, burdensome middle class tax hikes become inevitable.
Even a 50% tax rate on the wealthy can’t fix the deficit.
This is the first in a pair of papers that demonstrate that purely ideological fixes will not sufficiently address our fiscal issues. Our other report, Death by a Thousand Cuts: Why Spending Cuts Alone Won’t Fix the Deficit, proves that a cuts-only strategy cannot solve our budget woes without severely compromising our safety, security, and economic growth. Together, these papers make the case that a big and balanced fiscal package is the preferred way to avoid the fiscal cliff, prevent deficits from exploding in the future, and allow our economy to grow.
To stabilize the debt and create a positive economic climate for U.S. growth, most mainstream economists agree that annual deficits must be reduced to 3% of GDP. The question is: how do we get there?
In order to demonstrate that taxes alone cannot solve our budget woes, we explore three budget scenarios, all of which rely solely on Read the rest of this entry »