Daniel J. Mitchell

Many people think that my opposition to tax increases is ideological, but they’re wrong.

If someone told me that I magically had the power to flick a switch and give the country a flat tax, but that simple and fair tax system would only be possible if the rate was set high enough to give the government an extra $100 billion of revenue each year, I would take the deal in a heartbeat.

If I was given the opportunity to abolish the Departments of Energy, Education, Transportation, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development, but I had to give the politicians an extra $100 billion of revenue per year in exchange, I’d say yes right away.

And if I had the chance to adopt Medicare reform, Medicaid reform, and Social Security reform, and all I had to give up was $100 billion of added annual tax revenue, I wouldn’t hesitate to give my approval.

In other words, I’m willing to go along with a tax hike so long as I get an acceptable offer. And my definition of acceptable offer isn’t even that onerous. I’m willing to acquiesce to a tax hike if the net long-run effect is more freedom, liberty, and prosperity.

Heck, I’ve even said on national TV that I would go back to Bill Clinton’s tax policy if I could undo all the reckless spending and regulation of the Bush-Obama years.

So if my views on this topic are so open-minded, reasonable, and pragmatic, why am I always writing posts that are critical of tax hikes?


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.
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