Former Mitt Romney economic advisor Greg Mankiw admits something that he probably would never have said during the campaign: Middle class tax rates can’t be set in stone. They might have to rise, too.
In a column at the NYT, Mankiw argues that if we’re going to get real about connecting spending to revenue, and if we want to keep (for the most part) the level of entitlements we’ve come to expect, some kind of tax increase on the middle class will be necessary.
Ultimately, unless we scale back entitlement programs far more than anyone in Washington is now seriously considering, we will have no choice but to increase taxes on a vast majority of Americans. This could involve higher tax rates or an elimination of popular deductions. Or it could mean an entirely new tax, such as a value-added tax or a carbon tax.
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