In his New York Times column Monday, Paul Krugman made what he claimed was an "obvious" point -- that elections have consequences -- but used the publication of the 2013 IRS tax tables as way to make that point concretely.
"If Mitt Romney had won," Krugman argued, the tax rate for the top 1 percent and top 0.01 percent wouldn't have gone up by 4 and 6.5 percent respectively. "[F]or top incomes, Mr. Obama has effectively rolled back not just the Bush tax cuts but Ronald Reagan’s as well."
These higher rates generate approximately $70 billion a year in revenue, which is "in the same ballpark as both food stamps and budget office estimates of this year's net outlays on Obamacare."
Moreover, he argued,
some widely predicted consequences of Mr. Obama’s re-election — predicted by his opponents — didn’t happen. Gasoline prices didn’t soar. Stocks didn’t plunge. The economy didn’t collapse — in fact, the U.S. economy has now added more than twice as many private-sector jobs under Mr. Obama as it did over the same period of the George W. Bush administration, and the unemployment rate is a full point lower than the rate Mr. Romney promised to achieve by the end of 2016.
In other words, the 2012 election didn’t just allow progressives to achieve some important goals. It also gave them an opportunity to show that achieving these goals is feasible. No, asking the rich to pay somewhat more in taxes while helping the less fortunate won’t destroy the economy...