“Paying For” Tax Cuts

Whenever political talk turns to tax cuts, a primary objection is that such cuts have to be “paid for.”

By whom? And for what?

When you read a headline such as “Romney’s deduction caps don’t pay for tax cuts,” what’s actually being said is that the plan would require government to cut not just taxes, but spending as well (or else add to deficit and debt).

The underlying premise is that all previously contemplated or projected future spending is sacrosanct — the money in question already belongs to the government, and forgoing that money and whatever the politicians want to spend it on is somehow a “payment” from government to the taxpayers from whom they propose to steal the money in the first place.

Sooner or later, the equation balances as “taxes = spending.” Debt is just a way of deferring collection of taxes for awhile (and increasing them due to interest). If there are no spending cuts, there can be no tax cuts.

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