Amidst the gloom of the deal, there was some good in it: The harmful defense sequester cuts were postponed and most tax hikes were avoided. But there can be little doubt the bad — tax hikes that will hurt the economy and do little to tame the deficit — outweighed the good.
President Obama has his long-sought tax hike on “the rich,” and doesn’t seem too concerned that he had to raise taxes on the middle class in the process. But even with those tax hikes in his pocket, a debt crisis still stares us squarely in the face. And the rich and the middle class combined don’t have enough income to pay it back.
It is finally time for President Obama and Congress to focus on avoiding a debt disaster. And that will require cutting spending by reforming entitlements. Divisive and distracting class-warfare tax hikes will damage the economy, but they can’t solve our debt problem. It’s past time for our leaders to get serious and tackle the real fiscal problem: massive government overspending.
Curtis Dubay is senior tax analyst in The Heritage Foundation’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies.