Mitch McConnell is not telling the truth when he says of our fiscal issues, “We don’t have this problem because we tax too little. We have it because we spend too much.”
That isn't even close to true.
Our nation faces unprecedented challenges on many fronts.
- Our population is aging and its largest segment is entering retirement. It, and the rest of us, are facing a broken health care system that Republicans have fought to keep broken and that they are trying to break further.
- Our economy is still short hundreds of billions of dollars (probably trillions) of demand, which is keeping record numbers of Americans unemployed... and for record lengths of time.
- Our security situation is such that we account for half the military spending of the entire planet.
- We face a global economy that requires massive investments in infrastructure and human capital if we hope to compete.
The necessary and responsible answers to these challenges are expensive commensurate with the scope of the problems we face.
Where we have not faced facts is on the revenue side of the equation. By every measure, our revenues reflect a refusal to acknowledge the challenges we face.
This graphic from Ten Charts that Prove the United States Is a Low-Tax Country by Michael Linden, Seth Hanlon and Jordan Eizenga, writing for the Center for American Progress, makes this point powerfully.
The United States is simply not in a low-cost era. Our problems are not small. Addressing our problems has not been and will not be cheap. It is our revenues that do not reflect this truth.
Only a fool, and apparently Mitch McConnell, would think that we can fix our problems by refusing to pay for the solutions.