While President Obama claimed repeatedly during both the fiscal cliff and the sequestration debate that America’s problem lay just as much on the tax revenue side as it did on the government spending side, new statistics show what a lie that is. According to the Congressional Budget Office, federal tax revenue will hit $2.7 trillion in 2013, the highest number ever.
Liberals will hang their hat on the fact that tax revenue totals 16.9 percent of GDP this year, as opposed to 18.5 percent in 2007, but that is because people earn less taxable income during recessions. As we have already seen, government spending is already at record levels, in excess of 24 percent of GDP. And while in the past, government spending was largely comprised of non-mandatory program spending, now 44 percent of all federal outlays come from Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. As the Heritage Foundation reports:
All three programs are growing faster than inflation, and—when joined with $1.7 trillion in new Obamacare spending—will drain about 18.5 percent of the nation’s total economic output by mid-century. Because that is about the historical annual average of total federal tax revenue, it means all other government programs—national defense, veterans health care, transportation, federal law enforcement, and others—would effectively have to be financed on borrowed money.
The Obama administration claim that we’re just not taxed enough simply is not true. We’re not earning enough thanks to his sluggish recovery. We cannot tax our way out of poverty, and we cannot spend our way to prosperity.
Ben Shapiro is Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the book “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America” (Threshold Editions, January 8, 2013).