The progressive assumption is that the rich are not paying their "fair share" and that if they do, all will be well. It's not so. The tax increases already set in law and slated to take effect next year--see blog post below--will find some high earners paying upwards of 60 to 65 percent of their salaries to government. But it won't begin to solve the worsening debt crisis. Indeed, as the Wall Street Journal points out today, if the tax rate were raised to 100 percent (confiscation, in other words), the government's slide into greater and greater debt would be slowed only slightly. The liberal Brookings-Urban Institute study group, the Tax Policy Center, acknowledges (quotes the Journal), "the infeasibility of achieving a high debt-reduction target simply by increasing top individual income tax rates."
That is from a liberal think tank, mind you.
The Obama Administration hopes to get a new mandate based on class warfare (not to mention gender warfare). If they do, they will have three options: 1) slash entitlement spending as well as defense spending; 2) raise taxes on the middle class (which also is the wrong thing to do in a struggling economy); and 3) print more and more money, until the world stops buying our debt and inflation explodes. This latter is like giving a patient more and more morphine to cope with pain until the treatment backfires and the patient dies.
Paul Ryan is being called an "extremist" and "draconian" by Democrats for charting a path to fiscal solvency. The same term was applied to Ronald Reagan this season in 1980. There is no Democratic budget proposal and there has been no US Budget adopted now for several years. We are adrift and calling it "Forward".