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Walker Supporters: Walker Will Raise Taxes

Posted by Chris Liebenthal on April 14, 2010

The pseudo-Team Walker, aka ScottforGov.com, puts up their second strike in three days with a post titled “Tom Barrett = Walter Mondale“:

Let me translate that…”I will not raise taxes for 2 years, and the Republicans are lying to you when they say different.”

I seem to remember another Democratic nominee saying something similar in 1984. In fact Walter Mondale’s exact words were:

“Let’s tell the truth. It must be done. It must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”

The difference is in words, not substance.

Based on this line of argument, the logical argument would be they then consider Scott Walker to be the equivalent of Ronald Reagan.

But, if they were truly politically savvy, they would realize that they just shot themselves, and their candidate, in the foot.

Via Brew City Brawler, we see an outline of Reagan’s stance on taxes as Governor of California:

But how high is enough? The level of state and local taxes paid by Californians is just about the same as it was in 1970: 11.5 percent of income now, compared with 11.1 percent. The first big budget deficit in the last half a century was inherited by Reagan in 1967. He grandly declared “we will squeeze, cut and trim” state government and proclaimed a 10 percent across-the-board whack. But as Reagan learned then, and Schwarzenegger is learning now, across-the-board cuts — as simple and fair as they may sound — just don’t work. They fall unfairly on some crucial programs. No one would seriously suggest cutting the California Highway Patrol by 10 percent, for example. And the state Constitution and federal law prohibit other cuts, including some welfare programs.Reagan ended up approving a $1 billion tax increase on a $6 billion annual budget, which was, proportionately, the biggest tax increase in state history. It left a fat treasury for his successor, Jerry Brown, but much of that was doled out to cities and counties to make up for property taxes slashed by Proposition 13. (The state got that back later by grabbing more than $1 billion of local revenues. The locals, of course, raised their own taxes to make up for the loss.)

Now I can just hear my anonymous trolls from Walker’s campaign trying to argue, “But capper, they meant Reagan the President, not Governor.”

Fine by me. Via the Brawler again, let’s look at Reagan the President:

Reagan may have resisted calls for tax increases, but he ultimately supported them. In 1982 alone, he signed into law not one but two major tax increases. The Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act raised taxes by $37.5 billion per year, and the Highway Revenue Act of 1982 raised the gasoline tax by another $3.3 billion.

According to a recent Treasury Department study, TEFRA alone raised taxes by almost 1 percent of the gross domestic product, making it the largest peacetime tax increase in American history. An increase of similar magnitude today would raise more than $100 billion per year.

In 1983, Reagan signed legislation raising the Social Security tax rate. This is a tax increase that lives with us still, since it initiated automatic increases in the taxable wage base. As a consequence, those with moderately high earnings see their payroll taxes rise every single year.

The following year, Reagan signed another big tax increase in the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984. This raised taxes by $18 billion per year or 0.4 percent of GDP. A similar sized tax increase today would be about $44 billion.

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 raised taxes yet again. Even the Tax Reform Act of 1986, which was designed to be revenue-neutral, contained a net tax increase in its first two years. And the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 raised taxes still more.

To put in a logic based argument:

If Tom Barrett = Walter Mondale, then Scott Walker = Ronald Reagan.

If Walker = Reagan, and Reagan raised taxes (by record amounts), then Walker will raise taxes (by record amounts).

Why they think it’s a good idea to support a candidate who is supposedly anti-tax by pointing out that he will raise taxes is beyond me. But then again, why they believe Walker at all is also beyond me.

Strike One: No Concept of Irony

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