Politicians often say taxing high earners and cutting defense can pay for a long list of new entitlements, like Medicare for All and a Green New Deal. But as the chart shows, even if we taxed all income above $1 million and cut defense from the budget, it would only produce 8% of GDP in revenue. Meanwhile, the progressive wish list will cost more than 25% of GDP. There is now way around it, creating expensive new entitlements means higher taxes on the middle class too.
Brian Riedl is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Brian_Riedl.
Interested in real economic insights? Want to stay ahead of the competition? Each weekday morning, e21 delivers a short email that includes e21 exclusive commentaries and the latest market news and updates from Washington. Sign up for the e21 Morning eBrief.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images