The No-Tax-Hike Pledge: Does It Help or Hurt the Fight for Smaller Government?

Capitol Hill Briefing
July 18, 2011 12:00PM
B-369 Rayburn House Office Building
Featuring Dan Mitchell; Senior Fellow, Cato Institute; and Kevin Williamson, Deputy Managing Editor, National Review; moderated by Brandon Arnold, Director of Government Affairs, Cato Institute.
With record levels of government spending and rising amounts of red ink, there is considerable debate about whether a “grand compromise” budget deal is needed to restore fiscal sanity in Washington. Proponents of this approach specifically say that the no-tax-hike pledge is hindering a budget agreement and thus ruining an opportunity to reduce the burden of government spending. Opponents counter by pointing out that the problem is the result of too much spending and that spending restraint is the obvious solution. Moreover, past experience demonstrates that promised spending cuts in budget summit agreements quickly evaporate, but the tax increases are permanent. Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute and Kevin Williamson of National Review will debate whether the no-tax-hike pledge helps or hinders the fight for fiscal responsibility.