Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Commentary

November 20, 2012

GOP should take up Obama on his tax 'word'

(Continued)

And that will expose the fact that, as the president also surely knows, raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires won't be enough to "pay down our debt in a balanced way" as he claimed all through the campaign - not nearly enough.

The president also knows that even if he gets exactly what he has demanded - increased taxes on everybody making more than $200,000, it won't be enough. Estimates on both sides of the partisan divide are that it might be enough to cut the current annual deficit by about 7.5 percent.

It might not bring in even that much. As a few Republicans have pointed out, not very successfully, Obama could set tax rates on the very wealthy as high as 90 percent, but if the current byzantine collection of deductions and loopholes remain in place, the rich will be able to dodge them.

But that argument will have to wait. Nobody will listen to it until government sticks it to the rich. Obama himself said even if raising taxes on the rich didn't bring in any more money to government, he wanted to do it, "as a matter of fairness."

So, Republicans should vote unanimously to let the Bush tax rates expire on millionaires, and let the president explain why it won't be enough. Only then will everybody be able to get to a conversation that has something to do with the fiscal realities facing the nation.

- Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

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