Not according to most of the Dems out on speaking tours these past few weeks. From Obama on down, they are saying that the federal government needs even more revenue. If that's true, we have to wonder why the Dems didn't get that extra revenue in the fiscal cliff negotiations. Here some speculative ideas about why the Dems want that revenue:
- The Dems want to set the precedent that all deficit reduction will be a mixture of spending cuts (cuts below the current baseline, which is in an upward trajectory) and revenue increases.
- Dems want to kill off the GOP preferred method of deficit reduction, which is by spending cuts only, with no revenue increases except from economical growth.
- Dems want to force the GOP to capitulate to the Dem's preferred deficit cutting approach, and thereby humiliate the GOP.
- Dems don't want to be humiliated by the GOP if it ends up that government can be cut significantly without huge gaps opening up in the social safety net.
- Dems are concerned about the growth of income inequality and the reduction in broad, well-paying employment, and they want to even out the inequity using taxation to supporting public provision of standard benefits.
- Dems are protecting their loyal constituencies of government workers and those who received federal benefits.
- Dems honestly believe that the cuts will be devastating to government services that we depend on, so the sequester is too deep.
- Dems always want to raise taxes and spend more on government programs, and they don't even remember why.
I may be getting the government I voted for, but I never had a chance to vote for the government I really want. (That's true for lots of people--just ask a libertarian.)