20 September 2012

Scott Brown's Big Political Lie

Listening to the Scott Brown - Elizabeth Warren debate, I heard Scott Brown make the claim that "Professor Warren wants to raise your taxes. I'm not going to do that. I'm not going to spend one extra dime of your money." [see footnote]

Here's the lie. If you can't list the budget items you would cut in order to bring the deficit down, you are going to spend an extra dime of the taxpayers money. In fact, you are going to spend that dime plus the interest that accrues on it before it is paid off. And if paying that off takes decades, as it does with a mortgage, you're probably going to charge them something closer to a dollar than a dime thanks to the miracle of compound interest.

To raise taxes with a massive deficit is not the same as deciding to spend money. To raise taxes is a decision not to charge what you're currently spending. If you want to prove that you're going to save the taxpayers money, you'll have to itemize cuts. If you don't do that but instead just refuse to raise taxes, you're just compounding what taxpayers will have to eventually pay. The big lie is that if you refuse to raise taxes even while leaving spending at roughly the same level, you're saving the taxpayers money.

You pay some taxes now or more taxes later. If you can't cut the budget, you've already decided to spend your constituents' money; tax rates just determine how you're going to pay for that spending. Buying a car with zero down does not save you money. If you want to save money, buy a bike instead of a car.

No. These quotes are not verbatim. I'm a blogger. My fact checker is still on summer vacation. These quotes capture the spirit of what he said, even if they don't capture the exact wording.

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