Diary

Barney Frank wants to cut defense spending by 25% and raise taxes.

This is not an exaggeration or euphemism. This is his intent.

NEW BEDFORD — After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states’ stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday.

In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.

The military cuts also mean getting out of Iraq sooner, he said.

Via The Hill, via Commentary.Let’s establish a few things, here.

  • You may think that cutting defense spending is a good idea. Fine. But let us establish this: cutting defense spending by 25% means that, somewhere down the line, people will lose jobs. Reducing a budget by roughly 115 billion dollars or so will inevitably result in jobs being lost. There is no way that you can avoid that. {Full disclosure: my wife works for the Navy as a civilian contractor (her job won’t go anywhere).}

  • You may think that spending this money – and lots more of it, probably – on infrastructure projects is a good idea. Fine. But let us establish this: that money is going to have to come from somewhere. And we’re already running at a deficit, remember? It’s less of one than it has been – thanks to Bush’s tax cuts, which the Democrats can’t wait to repeal (which is, by the way, going to increase your tax burden). The money has to be actually raised. There is no way to avoid that.

  • You may think that taxing the higher tax brackets is a good idea. Fine. But let us establish this: higher taxes on the wealthy means that, somewhere down the line, people will lose jobs. Remove the incentive to make money – indeed, take away their money – and less wealth will be created. There is no way to avoid that.

  • You may think that the economic assumptions in the three points above are either partially or completely nonsensical. Fine. But let us establish this: if this happens the way Franks wants it to, and the economy tanks, do not pretend that you were not warned ahead of time.

Fortunately, there is a way to avoid that.

Moe Lane