A new Rasmussen Reports poll shows that a portion of respondents feel that higher taxes are acceptable, but only if real spending cuts are also made.
President Obama wants Congress to hike tax rates right now and have Congress discuss spending cuts at some later time. The reality being that the federal government will get more money to spend and will likely never make any deficit-reducing cuts. A pattern that has repeated for almost a century.
If the president and Congress agreed to a long-term plan to significantly reduce federal spending and the deficit, 42% of Likely U.S. Voters would be personally willing to pay “a bit more” in taxes to balance the budget if the spending cuts were not enough.
A telephone poll also showed that an equal 42% would not be willing to see tax increases even if there were assurances that real spending cuts had been made.
In 1982, President Reagan was offered a three-to-one ratio of spending cuts to tax increases by a Democratic Congress. While Reagan reluctantly agreed to one of the largest tax increases in history, shockingly, Congressional Democrats proceeded to not enact any spending cuts. Democrats got the tax hike they lobbied for while not living up to the spending cuts Reagan wanted.
Similar tactics were used in 1990 to get President Bush to agree to tax increases and the he got the same outcome – all taxes, no spending cuts.
So why should Americans or Republicans in the House and Senate fall for the same rhetoric? They shouldn’t, but likely will.