Automatic Tax Increase?

We and many others have criticized President Obama’s speech on the budget, but one aspect of his proposal on which I haven’t seen much commentary is the “debt failsafe trigger.” You might think that a “debt failsafe trigger” is a mechanism to constrain spending if debt exceeds a certain level; but Dan Mitchell explains:

[T]he most disturbing feature [of Obama’s proposal] may be a provision that punishes the American people with higher taxes if politicians overspend.
Called a “debt failsafe trigger,” Obama’s scheme would automatically raise taxes if politicians spend too much. According to the talking points distributed by the White House, the automatic tax increase would take effect “if, by 2014, the projected ratio of debt-to-GDP is not stabilized and declining toward the end of the decade.”
Let’s ponder what this means. If politicians in Washington spend too much and cause more red ink, which happens on a routine basis, Obama wants a provision that automatically would raise taxes on the American people.

This would verge on the unbelievable in any administration other than the present one.

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