This also should make taxpayers skeptical of Democratic proposals to track down a supposedly enormous amount of tax revenue currently going unpaid, known as the “tax gap.” President Joe Biden has claimed that the tax gap is many times larger than the IRS says it is, going on to say that his agenda can be paid for if only the tax cheats could be hunted down. Never mind that doing so may involve snooping on your bank account, Biden’s claims of an enormous tax gap were always suspect, and now they are even more so.
This obfuscation is all meant to cover a simple truth — progressives can’t come close to funding their expensive, expansive agenda off the backs of the rich. Though estimates of the wealth held by America’s richest denizens can appear staggering, it represents little more than grocery money to the enormous money churn that is the federal government.
Even setting aside the Build Back Better agenda, the federal government is set to run a deficit of over $12 trillion over the next 10 years. Even if the federal government confiscates every cent of billionaire wealth in the country, it would not be enough to cover the federal deficit (let alone the $28 trillion national debt) for even the next three years. Taking into account longer-term trends, like projected Social Security insolvency and spikes in the cost of Medicare, billionaire wealth represents a drop in the bucket.
Then consider that progressives are nowhere near the level of federal spending they want to achieve. Between the $32 trillion plan for Medicare-for-All, the Biden administration’s agenda, and the indeterminate but likely massive cost of a Green New Deal, the idea that these things could be funded solely by taxing the rich is a pipe dream.
It’s good to see tax revenues recovering, if only so that the debt burden passed on to future generations grows at a slightly slower pace. But Americans should also take care to note the lesson being presented here: The rich can’t help you dig out of the fiscal hole progressives want to put you in.
Andrew Wilford is a policy analyst with the National Taxpayers Union Foundation. He wrote this for InsideSources.com.