The Obama administration on Friday lifted the covers on its compromise budget proposal for fiscal year 2014. While Obama's blueprint would slash the national debt by a projected $1.8 trillion over the next decade (bringing the total reductions since 2011 to $4.3 trillion) through painful changes to Social Security and Medicare, Republicans are predictably balking at Obama's call for $580 billion in new tax revenue. Despite the administration's up-front concessions on spending, GOP leaders including John Boehner, Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor continue to repeat their talking points that "the President got his tax hikes in January" and "the discussion about revenue is over."
But as a quick glance at U.S. budgets past and future shows, the discussion over tax revenue should be far from over. For starters, thanks to two wars, the new unfunded Medicare prescription drug program and the government responses to the 2008 financial meltdown, federal spending surged over the previous decade even as tax revenue as a percentage of the U.S. economy hit 60 year lows. And looking ahead, the U.S. Treasury will need to raise revenues higher than the historical average not just to fill the massive hole left by the Naughts, but to fund $2 trillion more in war-related spending, to address the aging of the U.S. population and to meet the public's demands for more, not less, spending across almost every area of government.
Here are 10 reasons why Uncle Sam needs more tax revenue. (Click a link to jump to the details for each.)