Social Question

Cruiser's avatar

Should the United States should consider raising taxes to help bring deficits under control and may need to consider a European-style value-added tax?

Asked by Cruiser (40401points) April 6th, 2010

White House adviser Paul Volcker said on Tuesday.

Volcker, answering a question from the audience at a New York Historical Society event, said the value-added tax “was not as toxic an idea” as it has been in the past and also said a carbon or other energy-related tax may become necessary.

Though he acknowledged that both were still unpopular ideas, he said getting entitlement costs and the U.S. budget deficit under control may require such moves. “If at the end of the day we need to raise taxes, we should raise taxes,” he said.

What say the collective? Should we reach deeper in our wallets to pay for this increase in Government spending?

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14 Answers

laureth's avatar

We need to do any combination of four things to solve this problem.

1. Raise taxes
2. Cut defense
3. Cut medicare
or 4. Cut social security.

Anything else, and you’re only dreaming.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, I think we should reach deeper into our wallets. We can’t afford to let the Bush deficit spiral continue to spiral out of control. No one can ever cut programs enough to reduce spending enough to balance the budget. In order to do that, you’d have to cut Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid (that’s where the significant money is), and there is no will to throw more Americans out on the streets.

So, more taxes it is. I’m not sure about the VAT. I’m in favor of progressive taxes, and that one doesn’t seem like it would be progressive. I haven’t analyzed it, however. I’d prefer to use the income tax to raise the needed dollars.

tranquilsea's avatar

Canada’s deficit was massive (compared to our population) in the 80s and 90s. Our Liberal gov’t of the time cut spending and raised taxes on everyone. No one liked it, but we started to actually pay down our debt through those years.

cockswain's avatar

I nearly fully agree with Laureth, in that I think taxes are too low. But there’s only so high you can raise them before tax revenues will decline. Defense spending is probably too high and money could be spent more cost-effectively. Medicare and SS are in need of serious reform, and require a combination of taxing and adjusting benefits. I think Medicare costs to consumers should increase, not unreasonably, but to the point people won’t feel as though it is always free to go to the doc for any little thing.

Mamradpivo's avatar

Probably. That or cut everything else drastically. Or both. Times of plenty are gone, though they were always a lie to begin with.

YARNLADY's avatar

Good question, what should happen and what will happen are two different things. People want all the services the government offers, but they don’t want to pay for it. Yes, to answer your question, taxes should be raised on the ones who can most afford to pay more, and reduced on the lowest earning levels.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

No. Hell no. The more revenues the government takes in, the deeper in debt it goes. The government—all governments—need to be starved.

Cruiser's avatar

@CyanoticWasp I am with you on this as a little governmental tax diet and stepping back from the all you can eat buffet would be my suggestion.

laureth's avatar

Relevant opinion poll.

People are not serious about cutting the debt.

Cruiser's avatar

@laureth
People want their cake and to eat it too…no surprise there. This I found interesting in the poll article….

“Despite the fact that more voters blame Bush for the deficit than Obama, Republicans still retain a sizable 13-point advantage on which party voters trust more to handle the budget deficit (44 to 31 percent). This advantage is larger than they achieve on any other issues tested in this survey, and the largest gap they’ve held on the budget deficit since Democracy Corps started asking this question nearly two years ago.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, but at different rates for essential goods (e.g. 5%) and non-essential goods (e.g. 20%).

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@mattbrowne no. We don’t need another damn bureaucracy to determine what are essential goods vs. non-essential goods. Do not want.

mattbrowne's avatar

There are pros and cons indeed.

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