My answer is simple: of course tax cuts pay for themselves. How can the government letting you keep the money you earned yourself cost you anything? Of course, what liberals mean by asking whether tax cuts pay for themselves is whether the government will have lower tax revenue, i.e. whether it costs the government anything. That’s just another example of people talking right past each other. The Political Class that Scott Rasmussen is so fond of talking about, thinks of tax cuts as a government giveaway. They identify with the government, and so they see tax cuts as “costing them” the money (which isn’t theirs in the first place) they need to pursue the Political Class’ priorities. Say, for the sake of argument, that everyone agreed some tax cuts had been a bad idea, and that the government actually needed the money it had allowed you to keep. Then the government raises taxes and takes the money. How are you worse off than if there had been no tax cuts in the first place? Alternatively, say the government spent a bunch of money which everyone later thought was a bad idea (ring any bells?). There is no undoing the spending, the money is gone, and you have to pay for it regardless of whether it was effectively spent or not. You are demonstrably worse off. That is the difference between spending and tax cuts. Furthermore, one scenario is far more likely than the other. You use your money to your own best interest. Does anyone think the government will husband its resources as carefully as you do yours? Or even that they can deduct an overhead fee and somehow still provide enough services to compensate you for your loss?
Democrats won’t argue that you get bang for your buck from government, but rather make the sleazy appeal that since the rich pay more, you get a lot for your tax dollar. Besides being a morally inexcusable argument, its practically indefensible as well. Big government will always look after the well-connected rich and their big business interests. In reality, they are pitting your interests against the hardworking moderately wealthy, such as small business owners, working professionals, people who worked hard and went into debt to earn advanced degrees, and people who work 80 hours a week and clip coupons to put their kids through college and retire comfortably one day. God forbid these savers want to pass something on to their children. Only a fool could believe society can punish these successful individuals, some likely your own neighbors or employers, and not see everyone pay a price.
Update: This reminds me of something I read the other day about Obama’s recent speech at a GM plant. He said something like “I have put my money on the American worker.” That kind of talk really pisses me off- cause I doubt the people managing the Obama’s fortune have a dime in GM, and anyway, he’s referring to the bailouts which were, say it with me, YOUR money, not his. Grrr.