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Paying for Tax Cuts

edited June 2008 in Politics
Why do politicians ask how you are going to "pay" for a tax cut?

I can understand asking how the government intends to "pay" for a service it plans on offering but how do you "pay" for a tax cut? The entire idea of "paying" for a tax cut just sounds wrong. It sounds as if the money already belongs to the government and that by cutting a tax the government is somehow giving away money that does not belong to it in the first place.

I'm no economist but shouldn't the correct question to ask not be "how will you pay for those tax cuts" but, "how will you pay for those programs?"


  • Just a guess, but it probably just means they're wondering about where the money is going to come from if not from taxes.
  • Just a guess, but it probably just means they're wondering about where the money is going to come from if not from taxes.
    Yes, that is what it means but the phrase is wrong. The phrase paints the argument as if government owns all the money and cutting taxes is their way of giving you more money.
  • I believe the phrase refers to the opportunity cost of having a tax cut (less funding for programs, etc). "How will we pay the opportunity cost of cutting taxes?" It's just semantics, though. I don't believe one should read anything more than that into it.
  • The "paying for tax cuts" schtick is another thing that Rush Limbaugh loves to say.

    I love how conservatives are "Rah, Rah, go America!", but when it comes time to pay taxes, they're like, "Taxes suck! We don't want America to have any of OUR money! Let's privatize everything!"

    We live in a society with other people. We've all agreed that there are some things worth paying for with tax money. These things include but are not limited to social security, medicaid, medicare, police forces, courts, schools, disaster relief, OSHA, the FDIC, the SEC, the FDA, maintenance of infrastructure, and many people's all-time favorite, the military. These things are not one-time payments. They require a steady stream of money. Tax money. If taxes are cut, then something that we have decided that we want will be sacrificed if we don't figure out a way to pay for it. That's what it means when we talk about paying for a tax cut.

    BUT - if you hate taxes SOOOOOOO much and you want to live outside of society, there's nothing stopping you. Move to the Northwest Territories. You can find a place there to live and happily avoid taxes for the rest of your life. You just won't have any roads, food inspection, police protection, disease control, or many of the other things you ungratefully consume from society.
  • I'm not opposed to paying taxes. I just think the premise of the question is wrong.
  • edited June 2008
    I'm with YoshoKatana on this being semantics, and not needing discussion...
    Post edited by lackofcheese on
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