Well if this isn't like a cool drink of water in the scorching desert, I don't know what is. There is someone else out there who believes that there is more than one way to balance a budget! Obama says, "Raise taxes". Glenn Hubbard of Columbia University shares my view: drastically cut spending. From his Wall Street Journal op-ed:
In short, Mr. Obama has articulated a plan for higher federal spending, leaving open the question of what tax increases are next.
If Mr. Obama is going to increase spending, will he raise the money by higher business taxes instead? He has already distanced himself from John McCain's call to reduce America's corporate tax rate, and he is committed to raising tax rates on successful small business owners who pay individual as opposed to corporate income taxes. Does this mean he will raise tax burdens on individuals with annual incomes less than $250,000?
In a June 26 interview on the Fox Business channel, Mr. Obama said he wanted to roll back the Bush tax cuts for those in the top 5% of incomes -- that is, about $145,000 per year. He also voted for the Democrats' fiscal year 2009 Budget Resolution, which would raise taxes on individuals earning $42,000 or more.
There is another fiscal way. Balancing the federal budget without a tax increase is possible, but will require strong fiscal restraint. To achieve full-employment budget balance by the end of the next president's term in office, federal nondefense spending growth needs to be restrained to 2% per year instead of the currently projected 4.5%. And modest defense spending increases to fund costs of needed improvements in national security are possible.
That seems really simple, actually. Not even cut the budget, but have it grow more slowly, and you're on your way. Seems to me if an actual fiscal conservative were elected, we might be able to eradicate the deficit in four years or so.
Now, it's fair criticism to say that this man isn't likely to be listened to. After all, he was an advisor to George W. Bush, who grew spending like never before. But it's in the Wall Street Journal, and somebody's reading it. There's hope!
Now, while Hubbard is obviously saying these things in the hopes of boosting McCain, there's no reason for anyone who cares about policy to believe that McCain is going to be the fiscal conservative. He certainly hasn't been while in the Senate.
There is one candidate talking about cutting spending. Nudge, nudge.