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Hey, Harry, Did You Focus-Group That First?

Mark Steyn’s weekend column is now posted at National Review Online. We’ve cited Mark Steyn  columns most recently in Growls on June 14, August 26, and September 1, 2012.

After walking through the introduction, Steyn sets up the issue this way:

“Generally speaking, functioning societies make good-faith efforts to raise what they spend, subject to fluctuations in economic fortune: Government spending in Australia is 33.1 percent of GDP, and tax revenues are 27.1 percent. Likewise, government spending in Norway is 46.4 percent and revenues are 41 percent — a shortfall but in the ballpark. Government spending in the United States is 42.2 percent, but revenues are 24 percent — the widest spending/taxing gulf in any major economy.

“So all the agonizing over our annual trillion-plus deficits overlooks the obvious solution: Given that we’re spending like Norwegians, why don’t we just pay Norwegian tax rates?”

He then notes a calculation that “if Washington were to increase every single tax by 30%, it be be enough to balance the books -- in 25 years,” before mentioning the offer of U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-Navada):

“If you don’t want that, you need to cut spending — like Harry Reid’s been doing. “Now remember, we’ve already done more than a billion dollars’ worth of cuts,” he bragged the other day. “So we need to get some credit for that.”

“Wow! A billion dollars’ worth of cuts! Washington borrows $188 million every hour. So, if Reid took over five hours to negotiate those “cuts,” it was a complete waste of time. So are most of the “plans.” Any “debt-reduction plan” that doesn’t address at least $1.3 trillion a year is, in fact, a debt-increase plan.”

No wonder there hasn't been a budget in the U.S. Senate in almost four years.


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