One of the largest traditional splits between Democrats and Republicans is on taxes. Republicans are always looking to cut taxes and make government smaller, while Democrats stand up for a positive role of government that requires that almost everyone chip in.
For awhile now, this traditional split has been evolving as both parties grow more dishonest. Republicans still want to cut taxes, but promote mythical “dynamic effects” of tax cuts will ultimately stimulate the economy and keep tax cuts revenue neutral. Democrats still want an expensive progressive government, but now say that only rich people’s taxes need to be raised to pay for them.
If Democrats are going to have they’re ideal progressive government, it’s pretty clear that more than just the super-rich are going to need to pay for it. Almost any model of making the U.S deficit sustainable in the long run includes middle class tax increases. And in practice, big Democratic ideas like paid family leave and Obamacare have middle class tax increases built into them.
You’d think that at the very least tax increases on middle earners might be a point of debate within the Democratic party. But even democratic socialist Bernie Sanders has bailed on the idea. In an interview on ABC’s This Week, Sanders pledged that there would be no middle class tax increases besides the $1.61 increase that is part of the FAMILY Act to fund paid family leave.
In today’s political environment, Democrats seem to think it’s too politically toxic to stand up for middle class tax increases. Unfortunately, this means that Democrats are either lying to the American people or sacrificing their vision for bold, progressive governance.