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David Stockman: We Need To Raise Taxes. Like Reagan Did.

Ronald Reagan’s former budget director is unlikely to make any friends among the Grover Norquest crowd after his appearance on This Week today:

FREELAND: You worked for Ronald Reagan. Do you think the American economy — so you’re, like, a red-blooded capitalist — could it sustain higher taxes than it has now?

STOCKMAN: Absolutely. In 1982, we were looking at the jaws of the worst recession since the 1930s. We overdid it in 1981, cut taxes too much. We came back with a big deficit reduction plan in 1982. Unemployment’s at 10 percent, the economy is in dire shape, and we raise taxes by 1.2 percent of GDP, which would be $150 billion a year right now — not 10 years down the road — but right now

It’s not surprising that Stockman would defend a plan that he was largely the architect of, but his point is worth considering nonetheless. As I noted last week, not everyone in the GOP buys into the Grover Norquist “No Tax Increases” orthodoxy, and if there’s going to be any semblance of a budget deal then higher taxes (not necessarily higher tax rates, though) will have to be on the table.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. jwest says:

    In the House, no republican (or democrat in a swing district) will vote for a tax increase now, so the subject is effectively off the table.

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  2. Hey Norm says:

    Important to note that Reagan would not be elected by today’s so-called republicans. Taxes, as described by Stockman, are one reason. But also immigration and working in a bi-partisan manner to strengthen SS instead of just trying to abolish it. Add in cutting out of Lebanon, and he would be called liberal Marxist by the baggers of today. The GOP has become so extremist that a moderate who sponsors republican programs is called a Socialist…that’s right…Obama.

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  3. Pete says:

    Norm, your derogatory names for the Tea Party only serve to suggest you are a hateful, immature, ideologue. Why don’t you go pollute Think Progress, TPM and the daily Kos with your infantile name calling?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  4. Al says:

    So no Republican in the House (including the much ballyhooed Tea Party members) are serious about fiscal responsibility or the debt, West? Even though keeping the government on sale seems to be a good way to grow it instead of shrink it?

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  5. Hey Norm says:

    Pete,
    I didn’t tell them to dangle tea bags from their hats. They did that on their own. And noticing that makes me a hateful immature infantile (that’s redundant Pete) ideologue? Oh well…
    I think it’s interesting (telling) that you don’t argue my point.

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  6. Hey Norm says:

    Al,
    The tea partiers, and Ryan who has written the tea party manifesto, are fiscal frauds.

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  7. Pete says:

    I agree with your point, Norm; I just think all the infantile name calling that accompanies argument dilutes the intent. It’s akin to flipping someone the bird from the safety of your car. And you know the different connotations associated with the term “bagger” are derogatory, so your weak attempt to defend yourself by referring to them hanging tea bags just underscores my point that you belittle yourself by the crude references. Grow up.

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  8. Hey Norm says:
  9. Pete says:

    The tea partiers, and Ryan who has written the tea party manifesto, are fiscal frauds.

    C,mon Norm, you can do better than that. Give us your alternative to the “fiscal fraud.”

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  10. Hey Norm says:

    And “grow up” is not the equivalent of flipping someone off from the safety of your car?????
    The difference is that one is a sarcastic belittling of a group of people based on their actual behavior. The other is a personal attack.

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  11. Axel Edgren says:

    “C,mon Norm, you can do better than that. Give us your alternative to the “fiscal fraud.””

    No one has to give an alternative to a really retarded plan after saying the plan is really retarded.

    Cutting revenue is not a viable way to reduce a deficit. It is like working less while trying to make rent for the month.

    Pretending the poor don’t exist isn’t going to make them away. You can’t actually gas them and burn them, so they are always going to be there, requiring your aid – they are citizens and they are always going to cost the nation money unless you just decide to let them die. That is the juicy part of the situation – you can’t get out of it by shafting the parasites anymore, scumbags.

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  12. James Joyner says:

    It is worth noting that David Stockman rather famously alienated himself from conservatives during Reagan’s first year in office.

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  13. Pete says:

    Norm, my “grow up” comment is intended to send the same message I have sent to my children when they act immaturely or disrespectfully. You may interpret it any way you wish.

    Axel, do you have a viable alternative to “a really retarded plan?’

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  14. Pete says:

    Cutting revenue is not a viable way to reduce a deficit. It is like working less while trying to make rent for the month.

    Axel, your comparison is weak. How about reducing your nights out to eat? How about selling your beamer for a tercel? How about moving to a less expensive apartment? No, what you want is for someone to walk in and force your boss to give you a raise, or force your landlord to lower your rent.

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  15. Southern Hoosier says:

    Hey Norm says:
    Sunday, May 1, 2011 at 13:57

    Important to note that Reagan would not be elected by today’s so-called republicans. Taxes, as described by Stockman, are one reason. But also immigration and working in a bi-partisan manner to strengthen SS instead of just trying to abolish it. Add in cutting out of Lebanon, and he would be called liberal Marxist by the baggers of today. The GOP has become so extremist that a moderate who sponsors republican programs is called a Socialist…that’s right…Obama.

    I agree with you opinion of Reagan.

    However. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_bag_%28sexual_act%29
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=tea%20bagger

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  16. An Interested Party says:

    Axel, your comparison is weak.

    If you have an alternative that balances the budget through spending cuts alone, we’d love to see it…oh, and Ryan’s plan is “retarded” in that it has no chance of passing Congress and being signed by the president, not even a Republican president, as the filibuster would prevent it from ever passing in the Senate…

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  17. Pete says:

    IP, you are right that it won’t pass. But why is it retarded? It is a serious proposal that should be debated rather than summarily dismissed. To me, it is like the debate over the income tax code-do we adjust and reshape it as we have done since 1913, or do we take a leap of faith and try a brand new paradigm for funding the government? The partisan divide in this country is getting worse and the internet is fueling the fire. My hope is that adults will prevail for the long term good of the country. Branding things you disagree with as retarded and people you disagree with as “teabaggers” is better suited for the selfish, conceited and gullible.

    Regarding Ryans’ townhalls;

    He went through 19 hours of town hall meetings, was asked more than 200 questions by constituents, and he came out unscathed. Though the crowds were mostly supportive, the questioners were usually opposed. Every Paul Krugman or Barack Obama talking point was thrown at him. Liberals and Democrats asked Ryan probing questions about Medicare (quoting Clinton budget director Alice Rivlin at times) and tax cuts.

    Despite having a Democratic party tracker and Center for American Progress Action Fund blogger covering Ryan’s town halls, all they have out of 19 hours of footage are a few clips of Ryan getting booed. They have a video of a constituent yelling “liar!” at Ryan. What they do not have is video of Ryan actually lying or getting stumped by a question. Liberals might not agree with him, but Ryan had a persuasive answer, filled with facts and figures, to every question he was asked.

    Take, for example, the video clip that showed Ryan getting booed for saying “we do tax the top.” He typically goes on to argue that a 35% corporate tax hurts small businesses who have to compete with foreign competitors with much lower tax rates, while some big corporations like GE pay no taxes at all because of loopholes, tax shelters, and deductions. The solution, Ryan says, is clean out “the junk” in the tax code, and then “lower tax rates for everybody” while keeping tax revenues where they are today. A similar idea was endorsed by President Obama’s fiscal commission, and the Ways and Means committee will hammer out the details of which deductions they want to nix or reduce this summer.

    Ryan’s town halls were filled mostly with seniors, but there was actually little concern about his Medicare reform (Ryan’s opponents preferred to argue about Bush tax cuts and corporate tax cuts).

    “When seniors understand that what we’re doing is preserving Medicare exactly as it is today for people on Medicare or those 10 years away for retiring, then their minds are at ease,” Ryan told reporters on April 26. “So the challenge is—and this is the challenge you have every time you want to govern—is get through the misinformation.”

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  18. An Interested Party says:

    The partisan divide in this country is getting worse…

    Yes, and a plan which calls for simultaneously dismantling Medicare (but not for current recipients! *wink wink*) and giving more tax breaks to the wealthy certainly won’t help that…

    Branding things you disagree with as retarded and people you disagree with as “teabaggers” is better suited for the selfish, conceited and gullible.

    Tell me, what is the worst thing you have ever called the president or liberals…

    He went through 19 hours of town hall meetings, was asked more than 200 questions by constituents, and he came out unscathed…

    The GOP is most welcome to run Ryan’s plan as the centerpiece of next year’s elections…but I guarantee you that if they do that, they certainly won’t come through unscathed…

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  19. Hey Norm says:

    Pete,
    You flip your kids off from the safety of your car??? You’re afraid of your kids too??

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  20. Hey Norm says:

    Hoosier,
    It’s a complex world and words have many meanings…what baggage you bring to that meaning is not my problem.
    However…given the position you and Pete have taken on this…what should I call Rick Santorum?
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santorum_(sexual_neologism)

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  21. Hey Norm says:

    Pete and Hoosier
    Did you know that faggot means a stick, or a bundle of sticks? But can sometimes be used as slang…for a cigarette?

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  22. Axel Edgren says:

    How about reducing your nights out to eat?

    Or how about selling your car? Sure, you need it in order to get to/search for jobs and to get around without wasting most of your time but HEY LESS COSTS!

    The Ryan plan is the epitome of penny wise pound foolish.

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  23. stevie says:

    Taking offense at the term ‘teabaggers’?
    Take it up with Koch’s PR firm.
    They should have thought of that before they let the retards do this:
    http://thumbsnap.com/dilcYyqR

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