Rush thinks the president is setting up a “tax trap” for deficit hawks. The idea is that if you decry the deficits now, you will have to accept tax increases in the future in order to reduce them. And President Obama will sternly expect those who want the deficit managed to support the tax increases.
There is a problem with this logic that one needs to spot immediately if you have any hope of scoring well on the LSAT.
What is the hidden assumption here? It is that deficits are only reduced in one way, which is by increasing taxes.
I’m sure there are at least two ways (and really more) of cutting deficits. One is by raising taxes. The other one is by reducing spending.
If we are to believe that taxes must be raised in order to cut the deficit, then we can joyfully apply this logic to the rest of our lives. For example, if I overspend and buy too much car or take too many vacations, I can let my boss know that he will need to increase my salary to accommodate my new level of debt. And the places where I will be buying goods can be put on notice that because I’ve overspent, they will need to reduce their profits so that I will still be able to afford my preferred level of consumption.
The spending spree can be rolled back. And healthcare is a juicy target. As are many, many new and well-paid government jobs.
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