One of the unheralded ironies of our national political debate is that tax increases don’t necessarily bring in more revenue and, indeed, often depress the very economic activity that produces jobs and revenue. 

Alas, that doesn’t stop elected officials from yearning to raise taxes. Senator Orrin Hatch, however, who doesn’t want to raise taxes, has a good piece in today’s USA Today on the cost (yes, cost) of not extending the Bush tax cuts:

 According to the Congressional Budget Office, our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would take a 1.4% hit – potentially enough to trigger another recession, the last thing out-of-work Americans need. We need to stop these tax hikes and create a foundation for economic growth that, coupled with spending cuts, will reduce our massive budget deficits….

[M]any Democrats argue that Congress needs to spend more money we don’t have to stimulate the economy. They didn’t learn from the last stimulus that failed to stop unemployment from going over 8%. In fact, these massive tax hikes would be an anti-stimulus – putting our economy at greater risk.

The Wall Street Journal reports that  two Democrats are now breaking with the administration and coming out for maintaining the Bush tax cuts. Senators Kent Conrad of North Dakota and Ben Nelson of Nebraska are the mavericks and there are signs that others are contemplating such a move. “We’re not creating jobs, and raising taxes now would not be a great idea,” Rep. Michael McMahon, a New York Democrat, is quoted saying.

Extending the cuts will do more for unemployment than extending unemployment benefits.

But that’s too simple, isn’t it?