In yesterday’s post about Robert Rubin’s suggested tax increase, I forgot to mention that I voted for Clinton in ’92 (and ’96, for what it’s worth) and supported the tax increases. My acceptance of tax increases as the viable solution was naive, based in economic ignorance, but my basic fiscal philosophy was still there. The budget should be balanced. In surplus, actually, since we need to pay the debt, as well. But my understanding of what the government should be spending has changed, based on knowledge and reading the Constitution.
All of this is a prime reason why economics education should be mandatory in school. Before I’d taken any economics classes, political marketing influenced my economics understanding. Today, economics influences my political understanding. I’ve always been a libertarian, for my commitment to liberty has always been my fundamental philosophy. In the past I naively ignored how crucial economic liberty is to individual liberty.
If I’d been aware in ’92, I doubt I would’ve voted for Clinton in that election. I doubt I would’ve voted for Bush, although history has been kind to my recollection of his presidency. But I wouldn’t vote Democrat. Yes, I’ve voted Democrat in the last two elections, but I’ve been trying to find the best way to defeat the nonsense of the last five years or so. I desperately want to vote for a libertarian candidate, but Virginia politics isn’t keen on nominating libertarians. As such, it’s highly unlikely that a Democrat will get my vote in the near future because I don’t think they’ll change. If I have to vote for myself, I will. I’ll even be eligible for president in ’08.
In other words, cut spending to fix our fiscal crisis. Increased redistribution through taxes on “the rich” reduces liberty for all, which will not work in the long-term for a nation that strives for prosperity.