Walter Mondale: We need the courage to raise taxes
From WaPo Opinions:
We will not be able to control our budget deficits without raising taxes. That simple reality has brought us to a moment of truth in American politics. President Obama’s speech Wednesday lived up to that moment, and now Democrats and Republicans in Congress must take a similar stand.
Taxes reveal who we are as a people and what we value. Polls consistently show that majorities of Americans are willing to pay taxes and even have them increased when the revenues are devoted to their priorities, such as education, health care and deficit reduction. The public’s support is greatest for raising taxes on the affluent, but it extends to hikes tied to popular programs such as Social Security and Medicare.
Obama needs to take a stand for the general masses and make the point that a specific constituency of our population, or vices of any population, must be taxed higher to serve the greater good of our country. This is the essence of being a Democrat is in this country; something that seems to be lost amidst the shotgun approach we have today.
I told the truth in 1984. “The American people will have to pay Mr. Reagan’s bills,” I said in my acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. “The budget will be squeezed. Taxes will go up. . . . It must be done. Mr. Reagan will raise taxes, and so will I. He won’t tell you. I just did.”
I lost the election, but I won the debate. Reagan ended up increasing taxes in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 to mend the budget and tax systems.
Reagan-Bush corollary? I think so.