Dear IFOB (Italian friend of blogger):
First, let me say that I do like your critiques of my views and my blog. You challenge me to define and refine my positions. And you are right, recently I conflated three issues: the deficit, taxes and entitlements.
I believe in social programs and safety nets. Ideologically and emotionally, I am all-in on these. But we can’t go into debt to provide them.
If everyone paid taxes even at Bush tax levels with no deductions or loopholes and, excluding war costs, we couldn’t pay for the social programs and safety nets, then we have to re-prioritize and cut.
Unencumbered by facts or education in this matter, I just don’t believe that we would go into debt to provide these programs if people paid their taxes and we didn’t go warring in quagmires.
Separately, we have a huge debt right now. We spent on credit and now we have to pay the bill. Forget about the reasons for now. The bill is big and we owe it. I think that means higher taxes, at least for a while.
And just for icing on the cake, President Obama is pissing me off a lot lately.
Oh, and IFOB, I think you still owe me lunch. We can just eat tuna fish sandwiches — nothing fancy.