At $4.1 trillion, the budget represents an approximately 5 percent increase in spending over the last fiscal year of the Obama administration and sets the stage for President Trump to do what every GOP president has done since WWII: increase spending far more than did his Democratic predecessor.
Simple arithmetic will tell you that if spending increases, either taxes or deficits must increase, too. But although the GOP has been happy to let deficits explode in the past, they will have a harder time defending them this time around after their eight-year assault on Obama’s deficits, which increased debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion.
Therefore, Republicans are going to have to raise taxes to avoid bigger deficits.
They have set out to do exactly that to their political opponents while cutting taxes for their supporters.
All of this makes their current narrative about eliminating the state and local deduction from federal tax liability especially unseemly.
They claim the deductions force low tax states to subsidize high tax states like California, but that’s not true. California and New York pay more in federal taxes than they reap in federal benefits.
That isn’t to defend the egregious taxation in states like New York. But as Republicans love to remind us, the wealthiest 20 percent of Americans pay most of the income taxes and most of those people live in blue states Republicans are targeting for effective tax hikes.
Tom Mullen is the author of Where Do Conservatives and Liberals Come From? And What Ever Happened to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness? Part One and A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.