Monday, December 06, 2010

End the DAFT!

Our policy is daft. DAFT! Because *D*eficits *A*re *F*uture "T*axes. The DAFT Republicans want to borrow money to pay for tax cuts. And the DAFT Democrats want to borrow money to pay for unemployment benefit extension. It's DAFT! Deficits Are Future Taxes!

I'm going to get t-shirts made: "End the DAFT!"

It's easy....

Instead of "Hell no, I won't go!" we can try, "Like Hell I say, I won't pay!"


Anonymous said...

The DAFT Republicans want to borrow money to pay for tax cuts

Wait, I thought it was "our money"? Isn't that the Republican talking point, that you don't have to pay for tax cuts since they aren't something to be paid for since the money was "stolen" in the first place? Also, we are always, always, ALWAYS on the far side of the Laffer curve, so cutting taxes would actually give us more money... which then would necessitate another round of cutting taxes... since its our money... or something.

And the DAFT Democrats want to borrow money to pay for unemployment benefit extension.

No, they want to raise taxes on the rich slightly to pay for unemployment benefits (and other things). It may not be politically popular to say this, but at least they are up front about their desire to tax. As opposed to Republicans who think that whatever level taxes are at is too high while at the same time spending just as much, if not more, than the other party.

stubydoo said...

What's the point of all this "future taxes" talk? It's not as if anyone actually cares about the future.

Richard Stands said...

So, all my income is de-facto owned by the government, waiting for them to claim it? When they don't claim some, it's a cost?

That would mean that if I spend more than I make, my bankruptcy would be due of the cost of unclaimed higher wages from my employer. Hmm. Funny way to think.

Richard Stands said...

And I really like the phrase "Deficits are future taxes". I'd buy that t-shirt.

David said...

Oh, you'll pay.

Mungowitz said...

RS: I see what you mean, and I agree as far as that goes.

But it's not a question of who "owns" the income. It's a question of who owns the deficit. Extending the tax cuts is not a tax cut, it's just an accounting trick. Instead of owing taxes now, you owe taxes plus interest later. It's not a tax cut, it's a deferment.

Several people have told me that "we" should just repudiate the debt, and have a revolution. I think that any argument that contains the step "Insert successful revolution here" needs more work.

Richard Stands said...

I'd agree that extreme measures like repudiating the debt would have extreme consequences. I wouldn't support something like that, but the profligate tendencies of the federal government seem immune to calls of "iceberg!" from the bow. I'm sure they'll try inflating the debt down to manageable levels first (thereby stealing value from all dollar holders). Sovereign default would have seemed completely unimaginable to me a few years ago. I find myself wondering if that's what an iceberg would be made of.

Whether we call it cutting taxes or refraining from raising taxes, I just wanted to make sure the issue isn't framed in terms that make tax payers the villains for keeping what they create. The villains here are the ones buying power by spending other people's money on other people (to quote Uncle Milty).

Taxes are the deck chairs. Unfunded liabilities are the iceberg course.

Adam said...

Phoenix Wright gets it.

Anonymous said...

I think the fuller picture (albiet less catchy) is worth repeating -

Deficits are future taxes, with interest payments.

Helps drive home the sheer stupidity of it all. Perhaps it will be interest and penalties if (when?) the national debt creates an economic crisis. Its like you should pass a simple arithmetic test before you can run for office.

Richard Stands said...

It might be less about accounting and more about accountability. Who cares about potential catastrophic outcomes if they would only emerge after my term is over?

Add doubt and competing theories (government stimulus, counterfactuals, etc) and reckoning seems even more remote, perhaps even completely avoidable.

Wimpy legislators would gladly charge taxpayers Tuesday for a handout today.