JONATHAN CHAIT JUNE 28, 2011
If you want a short encapsulation of how far right the economic debate has moved, check out this passage from the Washington Post:
Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Vermont independent with socialist leanings, delivered a 90-minute address Monday outlining his plan calling for 50 percent of all savings to come from tax increases. “The wealthiest Americans and the most profitable corporations in this country must pay their fair share,” Sanders wrote Monday in a letter to Obama.
Such a proposal has no chance of passing because Republicans and many Democrats believe steep tax increases are both politically unpopular and potentially harmful to the struggling domestic economy.
So the socialist plan for one of the lowest-taxed advanced economies on Earth -- a country that could balance its budget entirely through tax hikes and still have a tax burden that ranks in the lowest third among the OECD -- is to cut the deficit with a plan consisting of half spending cuts. And that plan is immediately dismissed as so wildly unrealistic it stands no chance of passage. Cut hundreds of billions of dollars of spending and also raise taxes to cut the deficit, during a massive economic crisis? Go back to Russia, you crazy socialist!