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I'll See Your Democratic Tax Increase and...Triple It!

Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, who may be the new frontrunner in the presidential race, proposed a “wealth tax” last January. She would require households with assets above $50 million to pay a 2 percent tax on those assets, and 3 percent on assets above $1 billion.  

Not to be outdone in the tax-increase scramble, Bernie Sanders recently said, in essence, he’ll see Warren’s tax 3 percent wealth tax and raise it to 8 percent. 

Do we hear 10 percent? 

There was a day when Democrats were reluctant to discuss huge tax increases. No more. 

Last June, the Washington Times cited Democratic strategist Jim Manley as saying that the “tax-and-spend liberals” moniker didn’t bother Democrats anymore. “‘Democrats used to be scared of this kind of stuff, but not anymore.’” 

He can say that again. 

The Times article went on to say, “Mr. Manley said Democrats have grown tired of watching Republicans blow a hole in the federal deficit with tax cuts and then blaming the nation’s fiscal woes on spending on entitlements and domestic programs.” 

But to dissuade voters from thinking that massive entitlement and domestic spending increases would also “blow a hole in the federal deficit,” Democrats are returning to their call for pay-as-you-go (paygo) budgeting.  

The Hill reported last year, “Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) and other top Democrats are vowing to abide by fiscally hawkish pay-as-you-go rules if they seize the majority next year (i.e., the 2018 election), rejecting calls from liberals who feel they’d be an impediment to big legislative gains.” 

Having won the majority in the House, have you heard anymore about paygo? We’ve seen this ploy before. 

Back in the 2006 election, then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi announced, “Democrats are committed to ending years of irresponsible budget policies that have produced historic deficits. Instead of piling trillions of dollars of debt onto our children and grandchildren, we will restore ‘Pay As You Go’ budget discipline.” 

How’d that work out? Once Barack Obama entered the White House, federal deficits and debt exploded and we heard no more about paygo—until Democrats needed to regain the majority.

Now the Democratic presidential candidates are unashamedly proposing huge new tax increases to pay for their massive increases in spending.  

But this isn’t about fiscal responsibility. Terms like “paygo” are just expressions Democrats use to make voters think they will be better stewards of the government purse.  

They won’t. Just look back at 2006.