If tax cuts are spending, shouldn’t liberals want more tax cuts?

According to her comments, Nancy Pelosi considers tax cuts to be spending.

If Pelosi really believed this, shouldn’t she be as supportive of tax cuts as she is of real spending increases?

What’s the difference? Does she think tax cuts are irresponsible spending? If so, are there any other types of government spending she considers irresponsible?

My guess, the only stuff she finds irresponsible are changes that put more in the hands of citizens and less in the hands of government.

What ‘tax cut’ means

What ‘tax cut’ means to a…

libertarian  More freedom, more careful and value-added investment and spending in the economy that results in more jobs and an improved standard of living for everyone, less powerful bureaucrats and politicians. (More of the Baptist position in the Bootlegger and Baptist model)

conservative  Great. More money for me, or more money for me when I get rich, and less for the government. But, I might give up the tax cut if you agree not to cut defense spending. (More of the Bootlegger’s position)

moderate  I like the sound of it, but can “we” afford it with such a big deficit?

liberal If “we” give you a tax cut, who’s going to help the less fortunate?

progressive  How will I solve [my perceived] social injustices of income inequality and help the less fortunate?

What a libertarian might point out to each:

conservative  You might have more to spend on defense if the economy grows and the economy has a better chance of growing with lower tax rates.

moderate  Deficits are caused by spending.

liberal  Why not you?

progressive  See the response to a liberal and consider that only income inequality caused by your efforts is a social injustice (that is, your attempts to lessen income inequality actually causes more of it) and “earned” income inequality encourages productive behavior.

When is a tax cut not really a tax cut?

When it has the same incentives as a handout or ransom note.

One of the problems with American politics, or politics anywhere, is the politicians tendency to ingratiate their status with voters by appearing to give folks gifts of the voters own money.  Such things sound great on the campaign trail.  They all essentially boil down to:

I put more money in your wallet.  If you would like me to keep doing that, vote for me.

That’s what I thought when I heard about the ridiculous two-month extension of the payroll tax cut.  What politicians are really saying when they extend a tax cut for two months at a time is:

I will continue holding your wallet hostage.  The ransom is your vote for me.


I want you to feel dependent on me, vote for me.

While I’m usually for tax cuts, I don’t care much for tax cuts designed intently to increase politicians’ (real or perceived) power.