Too many conservatives are thinking that a combination of tax increases and spending cuts will lower the national debt.
Wrong. Just listen to the late, great Milton Friedman who always warned that higher taxes invite higher spending.
He has history on his side. Economist Richard Vedder did a famous study many years ago showing that every dollar of legislated tax increases led to $1.59 in higher spending in the future.
Our friend, Dan Mitchell, points to Europe as a cautionary tale. Over the past 50 or so years, tax revenue in Europe jumped from under 30 percent of GDP to north of 45 percent of GDP… and in the same period debt doubled:
The only way to reduce the burden of government is to grow the economy and to put a lid on spending.