Tax Increases And Our Economic Situation – Follow Up

On October 16 I wrote a post titled “Tax Increases And Our Economic Situation.”  That post can be found at this link.

Some may wonder what tax increases I am referring to, as at least headline tax rates have yet to increase in many areas.  Tax increases have been deferred for many reasons.  Among these reasons is the negative political ramifications of raising taxes before the upcoming November elections.

However, if we are to at least partially curtail our current deficit levels, an increase in taxes is likely certain.  Everyone should know this, at least intuitively; and I believe there is widespread recognition of these impending tax increases.

Thus, our current economic situation is such:  economic weakness that is met with stimulus / deficit spending – that then leads to tax increases.  These tax increases – during a time of economic weakness – will likely weigh (very) heavily against any lasting economic recovery.

This situation may not be inherently problematical if the stimulus / deficit spending was indeed highly economically stimulative.  However, if it is not (and there is little if any evidence that recent stimulus programs have been), a “vicious circle” may form – with large stimulus / deficit spending driving ever-higher taxes – with the net result a weaker – and more highly-indebted economy.  This weaker economy in turn drives higher stimulus / deficit spending – and ever-higher taxes.

There are a lot of complexities and other factors at work in this relationship; however, such an in-depth discussion would be too prohibitively lengthy and complex for a blog post.

However, as one can envision, this “vicious circle” can become very pernicious on many fronts.

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SPX at 1107.93 as this post is written