But if you add up Paul’s argument here, it goes something like this: The problem is entitlement spending, not taxes. And if the problem was taxes, then tax increases still wouldn’t make sense because they don’t raise revenues. And if they did raise revenues, they’re not needed anyway because revenues are likely to return to their historical average even without them. And even if you wanted to get revenues above their historical average, it’s not politically feasible because Republicans are already compromising by taking on entitlement spending.
Paul, to his credit, is not just shooting off here: He’s actually released a budget that would cut spending so deep you wouldn’t need to raise taxes. But as my colleague Dana Milbank has pointed out, Paul’s plan would:
cut the average Social Security recipient’s benefits by nearly 40 percent, reduce defense spending by nearly $100 billion below a level the Pentagon calls “devastating,” and end the current Medicare program in two years — even for current recipients, according to the Senate Budget Committee staff. It would eliminate the education, energy, housing and commerce departments, decimate homeland security, eviscerate programs for the poor, and give the wealthy a bonanza by reducing tax rates to 17 percent and eliminating taxes on capital gains and dividends.
My hunch is that when most voters look at that, they’ll begin thinking that compromise looks pretty good.