Here in the United States, we focus too much on explicit taxes and too little on implicit taxes.  The main implicit taxes we should focus more on is inflation.  Since the US issues its own currency, we have no debt in one sense of the word.  Rather, our government deficits are monetized.  That means if the government collects $2 trillion in taxes, but decides to spend $3 trillion, it creates $1 trillion in new money to account for the difference.

This means that explicit taxes collected (e.g. income taxes) are only one part of the total tax burden.   If we spend $3 trillion, it doesn’t matter whether we tax at $3 trillion or $1 trillion — the tax burden is exactly the same.  If we tax at $3 trillion, then there’s no inflation created from government debt.  If we tax at $1 trillion, we merely create $2 trillion in new money (and hence, new inflation) to account for it.  That $2 trillion in inflation is a tax.  Therefore, the true tax burden is $3 trillion in both scenarios and total spending is the only number that actually matters.

For this reason, the idea that we can fix our budgetary woes by raising taxes is completely inaccurate.  We can only fix them by lowering spending.  Tax increases are merely an attempt to justify and perpetuate massive increases in spending.

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