I read David Brooks citing the Tax Foundation this morning, and I thought he must have misread them. They couldn’t possibly have compared one year’s take from higher taxes on the rich with the total stock of debt, could they? They can’t possibly be that stupid, or think that their readers are that stupid, can they?
Yes they did. They actually find that their version of the “Buffett rule” would collect $120 billion a year, which is a seriously significant sum. But they try to make it look small by comparing one year’s revenue with the total debt outstanding.
I mean, the standard scoring method in Washington involves using 10-year projections — and even that is flawed, because the real budget issues are much longer-term than that. But nobody, nobody thinks it makes sense to estimate the effect of a revenue proposal on future debt by looking only at the first year’s receipts.
This deliberate fraud — because that’s what it has to be — is an example of the reasons knowledgeable people don’t trust the Tax Foundation.