Here is a good compare and contrast of the mindset of “typical” Americans. This is all by way of saying that it is virtually inevitable that government always and only expand. It cannot go backwards (i.e., shrink). As Penn Jillette said – government is a ratchet that only goes one way: it grows.

The WaPo has a staff editorial in which they describe $800B of cuts over a decade – the Paul Ryan budget – as dangerous and draconic.

In contrast, Reuters reports (non-editorially) that the Buffett Tax would raise somewhere between and estimated $30B – $50B over a decade.

That is, the Buffett Tax would raise 1/10th of the amount of money proposed to be slashed by Paul Ryan’s budget.

The Buffett Tax is negligible in the scope of this country’s budgetary shortfalls. Note that the Ryan budget still has the country in debt for decades (and that’s assuming it never got changed; an unlikely occurrence). Also note that the Ryan budget slashes less than about 5% from annual federal spending. Draconic? Dangerous? No, negligible.

The logical way to think about these two things is: the Buffett Tax is irrelevant and the Ryan budget doesn’t go far enough in slashing spending. But alas, the ratchet heeds no logic.

-JD Cross