Democrats are doing one of two things, and neither one of them is very impressive. Democratic candidates are either so scared of being called a tax-raiser by Republicans that they do not support changing the problem at all, or they are secretly for changing it but don't want to say it.
A U.S. carbon tax has the support of both environmentalists and business leaders (including Michael Bloomberg, New York Mayor, and Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO). It would be a rare political twofer that produces massive revenues while lowering emissions of carbon dioxide.
Corporations want to be treated as individuals when it comes to political contributions but not when it comes to paying their taxes. I think we should change that. It's the most logical and reasonable solution to balancing the budget and reducing the deficit.
There's a way out of this mess. It's an easy one, really, although it does require some suspension of disbelief on everyone's part. Just change the date on the floor of Congress. No, not the date on the bill, the actual date.
No one argues that resumption of pre-Bush tax rates on the wealthiest 1 percent will solve the deficit problem. What we do argue is equity -- fairness. The entire idea of progressive taxes is that those who benefit the most from our nation's services should pay a fair share.
Although tax increases on high-income individuals might reduce their saving, if the revenue generated is devoted to deficit reduction, the resulting increase in public saving is likely to more than offset any reduction in private saving.
Our historically low tax rates on the very rich are unsustainable. It's now time for President Obama to bang the bully pulpit, and time for Congressional Democrats to put aside their timidity and join the fight.
Brown and his appointees are digging into future economic and energy policy, the prospects for major water and high-speed rail projects, the possibility of mid-course cuts in the current state budget, and the 2012 elections.
In a time of a recession when jobs are hard to come by, Grover Norquist has invented a job for himself. His job is to make sure that those in Congress take a loyalty oath to say that they will never raise taxes.
It's time to start making those struggling to meet basic needs more visible. Then maybe people might start to realize how well-off they are, and be willing to sacrifice a greater part of their discretionary income in taxes.
When you declare "Everything is on the table" and "All of us must sacrifice" -- and the only thing you take off the table is raising taxes on the wealthy -- then the only sacrifice you are actually asking for is from those who can least afford it.