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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Bartlett: GOP 'No New Taxes' Position Is Rapidly Crumbling

Bruce Bartlett (The Fiscal Times), GOP “No New Taxes” Position Is Rapidly Crumbling:

Republicans have a problem. The American people are concerned about the budget deficit and know enough basic arithmetic to understand that it can result from higher spending or lower revenues. Republicans, however, insist that taxes must not be increased by a single penny; indeed, they argue that the government doesn’t have a revenue problem, just a spending problem. Therefore, they will only consider spending cuts in the GOP controlled House, which included another $3 trillion worth of tax cuts in the budget they passed on April 15.

Democrats all know that the Bush tax cuts have added some $2 trillion to the national debt and constitute the largest component of projected deficits going forward. These facts are documented in two recent reports from the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. They show that simply allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule next year would be sufficient, by itself, to stabilize the debt-to-GDP ratio.

Unfortunately, Democrats have been oddly reluctant to explain the truth about the deficit. They seem paralyzed by fear that they will be attacked for being tax increasers. Consequently, the Republican mantra that spending must be slashed, even if it means effectively abolishing Medicare, and any tax increase, no matter how small, will destroy the economy, is just about the only budget option voters ever hear.

Democrats shouldn’t be so timid. Poll data shows that the Americans are not enamored with the Bush tax cuts and are willing to support higher taxes as part of a deficit solution. ... Polls show that Americans support higher taxes as part of a deficit reduction program and that only a small minority of Americans believe that the budget can be balanced with spending cuts alone.

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Comments

Another "neutral" analysis that is in fact quite politically biased. It's no wonder that tax exemptions are coming under increased scrutiny (see item below). Why should the public continue to subsidize people to keep saying pretty much the same things?

Posted by: mike livingston | May 14, 2011 9:12:18 AM

When a critic decides to call opposition to an opponent's tax hike a tax cut, perhaps it is political rhetoric; when he tosses numbers that double/triple the magnitude of the "cuts", perhaps it is methodology ($3 bn? Even Obama pegged them at $1.5 bn, Ryan himself, at $1.1 bn). When he describes spending cuts as abolishing Medicare, you have to wonder why Bartlett's rants get any attention, here or anywhere.

Posted by: MG | May 14, 2011 11:19:55 AM

simply allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire on schedule next year would be sufficient

The CBPP is intentionally misleading the public with that statement. Less than one person in a thousand knows that this would include an Alternative Minimum Tax at unindexed 1993 levels, 20 years out of date. That would be an instant $4000 tax increase on most upper middle class taxpayers. They would not be able to connect this result with the benign-sounding statement "simply allowing all the Bush tax cuts to expire".

Posted by: AMTbuff | May 14, 2011 11:32:14 AM

Democrats all know that the Bush tax cuts have added some $2 trillion to the national debt and constitute the largest component of projected deficits going forward

Umm. Once again irresponsible spending by the dems????

Then they shouldn't have passed Obama's tax breaks.

Posted by: Sandy P. | May 14, 2011 5:32:43 PM

No tax and spend Republicans controlled both houses of Congress from 2001-2007 and the president was republican. it was only in 2006 that democrats had control of both houses, and by one vote in the senate (that is if you include 2 independents with the 49 democratic senators).

No tax and spend Republicans cut taxes and spent outrageous amounts of money. No tax an spend Republicans did not cut government spending during the 6 years the No tax and spend Republicans controlled the white house and congress.

When the No tax and spend Republicans came into control of the white house and congress in 2001, the country was running a surplus not a deficit.

When the No tax and spend Republicans were faced with 2 wars on the other side of the world they chose to do an unprecedented thing in American history: cut taxes during waring. During every other period of war taxes were raised, not lowered, but for some reason the No tax ad spend Republicans thought it would e a good time to decrease taxes during wartime--when spending increases significant lay.

No tax a spend Republicans chose to lower taxes during a war of choice that we know was based on lies and deceit.

This No tax and spend "starve the beast" theory has been proven wrong by the No tax and spend Republicans who advocate it (No tax and spend Republicans spent like crazy for 6 years creating the situation we face now).

There is no free ride. You have to pay to play. Freezing government workers salaries demonstrates how ridiculous the No tax an spend theory is. A pay freeze functionally is a tax on the middle and lower class (which according to No tax and spend Republicans, a tax on the middle class would be horrible thing indeed). To boot, right after they taxed the middle and lower class workers for 2 years the No tax and spend Republicans made sure that the Bush tax cuts that are a boon to the rich and wealthy were extended for 2 years.

Leader of Senate: All fellow members of the Roman senate hear me. Shall we continue to build palace after palace for the rich? Or shall we aspire to a more noble purpose and build decent housing for the poor? How does the senate vote?

Entire Senate: F*CK THE POOR!

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Posted by: tax guy | May 15, 2011 10:49:22 AM