A chance to change the way we talk about taxes

Few word pairings give me less reason for optimism than “bipartisan commission.” Too often, it’s just a tool for politicians to agree not to do anything — or at least not anything good — about a problem, and then not to blame each other for the outcome.

That said, I’m encouraged by the first draft of a plan to cut our federal budget deficit and shrink the national debt, released Wednesday.

The number crunchers will now sharpen their pencils and tell us whether the math behind these surprisingly concrete proposals really works out. At this point, it’s safe to say the plan isn’t perfect, but it’s a far better starting place than most of us anticipated.

We should give close scrutiny to the spending cuts put forward. There is a tendency in Washington, on both sides of the aisle, to increase spending by, say, 4 percent rather than the 5 percent originally budgeted and call it a “spending cut.” The budget, at 21 percent of the economy under this plan, would remain too large.

That’s not good enough. One small but encouraging sign is that the plan calls for an actual reduction of about 10 percent in today’s federal civilian work force.

Looking specifically at the tax reforms put on the table, we have an opportunity to move sharply in the direction of flatter, lower rates covering a broader tax base. It’s an opportunity to stop using the tax code to subsidize favored behaviors or constituencies. We can’t afford to miss it.

Don’t look at the loss or reduction of tax breaks such as the mortgage-interest deduction in isolation. There’s a lot to be said for removing these kind of tax incentives in favor of lower marginal income-tax rates across the board.

In fact, if you want the federal government to stop interfering with the housing market, phasing out this deduction is one way to get there. (Tackling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is another crucial way, but that was beyond the scope of this commission.)

Speaking more generally, conservatives should applaud a move toward a flatter, simpler, broader tax code.

We have largely won over public opinion with the argument that low marginal tax rates foster economic prosperity. But we have not been as successful — yet — in making the case for also flattening and simplifying the tax code.

In part, we have ourselves to blame. By focusing so much of our rhetoric on “tax cuts,” we have made it easier for politicians to claim that any reduction in anyone’s taxes is good.

But most economists will tell you that not every tax cut is created equal. Standing by as Democrats and Republicans alike have abused our message in this way has lent credence to the idea that “tax cuts” chiefly benefit the powerful or politically connected.

Now, we have a chance to right that wrong. In fact, it’s instructive that most conservative groups and pundits have been slower to judge the proposal than the likes of Nancy Pelosi (who quickly called the plan “simply unacceptable”) and the head of the AFL-CIO (who called it a “drop dead” message to the middle class) have been.

Is a tax code with three brackets (we now have six) flat enough? Is it simple enough if one or two of the most popular and widely used deductions remain in place?

Those questions will be squarely in the discussion going forward. But merely having the discussion is most welcome.

98 comments Add your comment

Churchill's MOM

November 12th, 2010
7:37 pm

Do we have RINOes or Republicans, we’ll know early next year. I’ll give 5:1 odds we have RINOes & we’ll see no real spending cuts, just more of the same.

Steel Magnolia

November 12th, 2010
7:42 pm

I guess a 10% cut in the federal civilian work force is a good place to start but I hope the knife stays sharp and they keep on cutting…Who will be the one to determine what 10% will be cut ? Was there ever any effort to identify federal departments that are expendable~~~~better known as fat…??

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 12th, 2010
7:46 pm

Defund all of it except national security, I’d be willing to bet we’d survive, just sayin…

Peter

November 12th, 2010
10:12 pm

Looks like democracy is dead in Iraq…….thank you Republican’s for Killing American’s and wasting Billions of American’s Tax payers money.

What a joke Republican’s have become !

Ragnar Danneskjöld

November 12th, 2010
11:18 pm

Dear I Report @ 7:46, I’ll sign onto that plan. If we could just get past the first two years of the fear-mongers’s shrieks the American public would never go back.

just me

November 13th, 2010
12:07 am

Dear “I Report,”

You could cut 10% from national security without losing one program, initiative or soldier if the government woulld just competitively bid defense contracts.

native

November 13th, 2010
12:11 am

The plan seems to have something to anger everyone, so perhaps it is possible to find compromise that might balance our budget somewhere at our below 25% of GDP. My biggest disappointment is that it is so cowardly in raising the retirement age for social security. Not actuarially sound.

It will be a miracle if anything happens.

I say, pay for the government you have. Let’s talk about what that is.

Jefferson

November 13th, 2010
12:58 am

Public opinion about low marginal rates is wrong as history has proven but that doen’t stop republicans from lying about it. Wonder why the have no credibility?

Jefferson

November 13th, 2010
1:02 am

3 good rates 10%/20%/50%. Call it poor/middle/upper. That is if you want to do as you say you want to do.

native

November 13th, 2010
1:12 am

One of the problems with reducing tax brackets is that the higher income people have long since exempted social security and medicare taxes through ceilings. This raises the real tax rate on working and lower class middle citizens immensely.

And why should investment income be treated any differently than wages?

Jefferson

November 13th, 2010
1:34 am

Investment Income Rates? To prop up Wall St., corporate wellfare.

Party like 1773

November 13th, 2010
3:13 am

Why not 99, 98, and 97 % and we just give everything to everyone?

Ayn Rant

November 13th, 2010
5:24 am

The Commission’s recommendations are another devious attempt to preserve the privileges of the few rich, useless Americans by “flattening” the tax code.

People who earn less than $40,000 per year cannot afford to pay income taxes; sales taxes, property taxes, and service fees leave no privileges in their life. Persons with incomes above $250,000 can afford, and deserve to pay income taxes; they receive the privileges of living well in our society of warped values. No one actually “earns” more than $250,000 a year, anyhow.

The economy works best when people pay high tax rates on their unearned income. A high tax rate encourages investment and re-investment in commerce, which promote economic growth, and contributions to charitable and cultural projects, which promote civilized behavior. During the period of greatest economic growth, just after the Second World War, the tax rate on the top incomes was 91%.

Billionaires are evidence of the failure of the free-enterprise economic system we pretend to favor. Free enterprise with open and fair competition would create many wealthy people, a few millionaires, no billionaires, and few paupers. In a free economic system, a creative person who hits on a profitable business scheme will find his competition soon offering a better product at a lower price. That’s the way free enterprise works. I say, “Bring it on!”.

skydog

November 13th, 2010
7:04 am

Look at the Repubs slicing up the new pie!

No talk here or on the hills of JOBS.

No jobs=no sales= no pie=no big houses=2 yrs and you are out again.

23 months with no candidate in sight.

Where are the JOBS Boehner!?

jconservative

November 13th, 2010
7:05 am

“We have largely won over public opinion with the argument that low marginal tax rates foster economic prosperity.”

Evidence please. We cut taxes in 1981 and 30 years later we have a national debt of $13.7 trillion dollars and have had 30 years of declining job creation (2000 through 2010 zero net jobs were created).

When is the prosperity supposed to start?

Buzz G

November 13th, 2010
7:16 am

“The problem with socialism is that sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.” Margaret Thatcher

It looks like Washington has finally figured out that they have run out of other people’s money. Still Democrats think it is just a matter of finding more “other people” and raiding their bank accounts. I am hoping that Republicans have returned to their roots of fiscal responsibility… or will they buckle to the wailing of labor unions and other special interests. Only time will tell.

One of a Kind

November 13th, 2010
7:16 am

Who is this “we” you speak of, Kimosabe Kyle.

JDW

November 13th, 2010
7:17 am

“We have largely won over public opinion with the argument that low marginal tax rates foster economic prosperity.”

Public opinion once believed with a certainty that the world was flat
and frankly they had better supporting facts. Kyle why don’t you take a shot at explaining how it is that when we cut taxes ie Reagan-Bush-Bush GDP growth rates drop way below historical averages.

Swede Atlanta

November 13th, 2010
7:45 am

Jconservative

I agree. The idea that lower marginal rates will foster economic prosperity is based on an assumption that more money in taxpayer’s hands will be spent consuming goods and services or for those with means will be used to start new businesses and invest in our economy.

The problem with the way this has played out is two-fold”

(1) Reduced distributions to the states while imposing new unfunded mandates (e.g. No Child Left Behind) has meant that any offset in federal rates has come at the expense in increased state and local taxes. I can’t find the study but one such study suggests that in fact the overall tax burden has increased as federal rates have been lowered as a result of this phenomenon

(2) Reduced inflows to the treasury
When times are good such as the late 90’s there was a surplus of income relative to expenditures. But you can’t base tax policy on the good times. You have to plan for leaner times. At the same time we have reduced marginal rates, special interests from those advocating unlimited deductions for home mortgage interest to hedge fund managers that want their income classified as investment returns to the oil and gas industries tax breaks, have reduced inflow to the treasury.

We can all agree there are areas where cuts can be made. Every area is going to have to take a haircut including defense. We spend more money on defense than all the other countries of the world combined. Who is our biggest threat? Tactically it is islamic extremism but more strategically and economically it is China and the growing economies of Asia. We can no longer afford to spend at the rate we have on our military and not address real needs in terms of economic development (i.e. support for R&D, etc.), appropriate investment in education – e.g. finding ways to produce more engineers and scientists, etc.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 13th, 2010
7:45 am

WASHINGTON — Doctors throughout the nation are bracing for Medicare pay cuts that could take effect if the lame duck Congress bogs down in partisan wrangling. -Urinal Front Page

The AJC accuses Congress, Congress, of cutting medicare doctor payments when they know damn well that obozocare proposes to do the exact same thing.

Peter

November 13th, 2010
7:51 am

Kyle if you want less taxes we need less spending…BUT how do we pay for the BUSH WARS ?

Gordon

November 13th, 2010
7:56 am

I really like the idea of a broader, simpler tax code (far fewer deductions, lower rates, and more people paying taxes, because we are all in this together). I’m just not sure politically how flat you can make the tax rates unless you can convince enough people that the elimination of deductions is offsetting that.

At any rate, I hope we can at least get to the point where we don’t look at tax policy and spending policy in isolation. For too long we have spent without considering how we would pay for it, and taxed without considering how the money would be spent.

carlosgvv

November 13th, 2010
8:01 am

If we had an honest bipartisan commission and charged them with eleminating as much waste and fraud in government spending as possible, we would be paying less taxes and getting far more benefits for our money. Unfortunately, this will never happen.

Roy-Is-A-Crook

November 13th, 2010
8:09 am

It amazes me when the little fish fight so hard to preserve the low tax rates for the extremely rich. You fools do know that a guy making 100 million in one year in Private Equity is only paying a 15% tax rate, that is only 15 million in taxes out of 100 million in gains. The little fish making a taxable 150 thousand is paying closer to a 36% marginal tax rate, more than double Mr. Fat Cat’s rate. Yet most of you are too stupid to notice. Oh yeah, PE has been responsible for more business failures in the past five years than any other organization. The PE thieves buy going concerns, fire many employees, run the company lean for a while, load the lean company down with massive debt with which they pay themselves “special dividends” then IPO the company back to the public markets. After a year or two, the company fails, but the PE thieves have their money, all at a 15% tax rate.

Streetracer

November 13th, 2010
8:11 am

Kyle:

One problem with eliminating the Mortage Interest Deduction is that without corresponding changes to business deductions, renters would be subsidized. As it stands now, homeowners get a direct subsidy for their mortage interest, but renters get an indirect subsidy, because the property owner can deduct all of his business expenses and depreciation/amortization costs which results in the same profit at a lower rental rate. For example, a rental property owner can deduct the cost of repainting a room, but a homeowner cannot.

JDW:

No educated person in a long time has belived the world was flat. Aristolte demonstrated that it was a sphere (actually he was wrong, it’s a spheroid, flat on the ends)in around 400 bc.

Swede Atlanta

November 13th, 2010
8:31 am

Streetracer

With respect to the renter versus home owner and deductions I think you left out one important difference. The homeowner gets something in return for his investment over time. A renter gets a place to live for the duration of his lease along with of course maintenance, etc. But at the end of a year he has nothing else to show for it. A homeowner, however, has, hopefully, accrued some equity in the property. So not only does the homeowner get a place to live he is building personal wealth.

In this economy it can be argued that equity is under serious pressure because of the drop in home values. But even if there was no equity, at the end of a mortgage, the homeowner can live there for free. He has to pay for his own maintenance of course but he has no corresponding mortgage payment. The renter pays rent every month, month after month, year after year.

So while I agree that the homeowner cannot deduct maintenance while a property management can for rental properties, that isn’t the only distinction that needs to be appreciated in this context.

I have no problem with providing a deduction for home mortgage interest on a primary residence. The public policy is to encourage home ownership which is generally a good thing. But we need to be sure we focus tax policy on that objective. Providing deductions on interest on a $3M home is not good policy. It should be capped.

Question Man

November 13th, 2010
8:33 am

How many are surprised (or pleased) at Kyle’s balanced take on this controversial and complex problem?

Anyone want a peanut?

November 13th, 2010
8:42 am

Aristolte (sic) was…..RIGHT! The world is round, it’s just that space-time warps the edges to make them measure flat when instraments are used to detect the flatness. You see, when you devise an apparatus to detect something, you influence the result by the act of building the apparatus and then employing that apparatus to make observations or measurements. Aristolte (sic) was the first Einstein. Einstein is often credited with defining insanity. Wrong. He was refering to quantum physics’ experimental anomalies where the same experiment would yield different results. He wasn’t observing human behavior, and furthermore, no human ever did the same thing over and over and expected a different result, except in baseball, where nobody ever tries the suicide squeeze anymore, (especially not that drunken (hic) wife-beating sot who used to manage the braves). If baseball is anything, it’s certainly not insane.

The truth is that next to me, both Aristolte (sic) and Einstein are morons. And the world could be flat; space time is indeterminable. Infinity itself is inconceivable. I mean, it’s inconceivable that we could ever observe ourselves and conceive the truth about who we are. The entire existential plane is inconceivable.

I said inconceivable, and I meant inconceivable. So when I conceive the mutants on this blog trying to conceive what is clearly inconceivable it think to myself……inconceivable!

Streetracer

November 13th, 2010
8:42 am

Swede Atlanta:

I agree with you that over the long run home ownership is better than renting. However on a year-to-year basis, I think that the business deductions to the property owner are about equal to the mortage interest deduction.

Jack

November 13th, 2010
8:46 am

Maybe we should all become PE thieves.

AmVet

November 13th, 2010
9:03 am

Just tax unearned income at rates reasonably close to earned income.

Also implement sales taxes on purchases of derivatives, puts, etc.

That would instantly generate hundreds of billions of dollars of revenues every single year.

Time to reign in the American plutocracy…

interested observer

November 13th, 2010
9:14 am

Think of the savings if we end two wars. We’ve got over 700 military bases around the globe – anyone think we can’t eliminate 100 of those without compromising national security?

And maybe the conservatives have won the public opinion battle over the idea that marginal taxes spur the economy, but you’ve also got 25 percent of your conservative base thinking Obama was born in Kenya. The truth and what the public perceives are not always the same, and far too many people believe only what they want to believe, facts be damned.

But I agree with those who say this Congress (meaning the new one) will do little, if anything, to reduce our deficit and nothing to reduce our debt.

ml

November 13th, 2010
9:27 am

we need to stop being the world’s policeman! we need to concentrate on national defense, not world defense.get defense contractors off of their entitlement programs. we should many more solar energy companies and less defense contractors. ‘defense’ contractor what a joke, all they have done is help start many little BS wars around the world for their own greedy benefit. they are in reality ‘offense contractors’. we haven’t fought a war for our freedom since the War of 1812! even in WWII the Russians could have eventually beaten both Germany and Japan by themselves, would’ve taken longer but true. but 12 carrier battle fleets? what is the necessity in that?
bring everyone home, with the exception of liason detachments, from around the world, bring them all home from Germany, Korea, Japan, Iraq and even Afghanistan. you don’t put a standing army in Afghanistan, how stupid. lightning strikes with airpower, special forces and things like cruise missiles could do a better job in Afghanistan than we are doing now.
don’t give another penny to any illegal immigrant or anchor child.
end entitlement programs for the very rich and large corporations.
get ourselves out of the position we’ve put ourselves in as the first place every country in the world looks to when they have a problem or a natural disaster.
now with just these few suggestions we could have healthcare and dental for all Americans, like we should, because it the right thing to do, and we will have national socialized medicine in this country one day, employers will eventually make it so expensive people won’t sigh up for it or they will drop the benefits all together to scoop more profit off the top so evil CEO’s can a few more poker chips. oh yeah, and remember, the national socialized healthcare we have for this country one day will be proposed by Republicans, that’s right, wait and see. they say it’s different when people ask ‘isn’t that just like Obamacare?’ and they’ll say ‘no, ours is different, be the only difference will be that it will be called some BS name like ‘the Patriotic Family and Children(yeah even though you said family, you’ll still have to throw the word children out there) Wellness Act for America’ pretty catchy huh?
and with those suggestions above we could have road and bridge projects taken care of too.
sad that this president has been so demonized, because I was really starting to like all the road improvements I’ve been seeing, but after this ‘another panic the herd’ election those will now be slowly going away.
Obama isn’t perfect and he is a politician, but the hatred towards him is absolutely horrible, and even worse when it’s mostly coming from people who call themselve’s Christians. hope you’re making a list and checking it twice Jesus, see Santa for tips if necessary.
but what I’ve seen done to this President, especially after our last one, President Crap for Brains, is like turning a graffiti vandal into a full blown serial killer.
and now we are going to a one party system in this country, just open any history book and you can see just how awful that can be. one party system, where one side has been so demonized that someone that is so obviously lacking in character as Deal can be elected just by can the other guy a Democrat/Liberal. and it is just a one party system, the Tea Party is just the more evil twin of the Republican Party. only vote for the very bad politician when the option is much worse. Barnes, not perfect, but not worse than Deal. like in Louisiana when they had bumper stickers that said ‘vote for the crook, it’s important!’ when Edwin Edwards was running against David Duke. Deal is an Edwards, but Barnes, even though he torn down as much, is not a David Duke.

Southern Comfort

November 13th, 2010
9:50 am

One small but encouraging sign is that the plan calls for an actual reduction of about 10 percent in today’s federal civilian work force.

Sounds good. However, if they do as they have done in the past and just replace them with contract workers, you end up in the same boat. The only way to reduce the work force 10% is to do away with the unnecessary government functions or redundant functions. Contracting out the work only moves money around. It does not cut spending at all, and sometimes actually increases spending.

zeke

November 13th, 2010
10:11 am

Geeze what a bunch of socialist morons!
Remove the income tax Constitutionally! In it’s place enact the “FAIR TAX” model and Constitutionally force all governments to live within it’s revenue, no deficit budgets! Then freeze or cap spending at current level or 5% less than current level for 5 to 10 years! Remove all illegals! Problem solved! Increased economic activity! Debt is paid down! The IRS is drastically reduced, reducing government! EVERYONE PAYS THEIR FAIR SHARE!

Rafe Hollister

November 13th, 2010
10:13 am

The plan works for me. Both sides give up something, which is compromise, the word that everyone so loves. The best part of the plan is that everyone goes back to paying some taxes. If 47% of people pay no taxes, you wind up with the “Gimme Society” we have today. If it is not my money, I do not care how it is spent, as long as I get my share. That attitude results in politicians competing to get them even more and make them so grateful they get their votes.

How do we pay for the wars, we give DOD a fixed amount of money and let the professionals over there decide how it is spent. Maybe if that is done, we can build a bigger better Army by using the money of salaries and benefits, versus expensive elaborate weapons we never use. Congress deciding that DOD spent their money on a weapon system built in the Congressional district of the Chm of the Armed Services Committee, is what got us into this mess.

Rafe Hollister

November 13th, 2010
10:20 am

Zeke: I’m with you on your recommendations, but the libs will pick them apart with what-ifs. We do need the Fair Tax, but it returns too much power to the people and eliminates power in Congress.

We have had the “progressive income tax” in the country since its inception, but never sure why it was not challenged on constitutional grounds. There is nothing in the Constitution that says that people can be treated differently, because they are more productive than their peers. I am a simple pig farmer, but am not sure why the equal protection clause does not apply.

joe suggs

November 13th, 2010
10:54 am

Peter , talking about spending billions on wars and killing Americans look no further than Korea and Vietnam !! Harry Truman – Democrat / Lyndon ” Great Society ” Johnson – Democrat . America should not have been in either war.

killerj

November 13th, 2010
11:02 am

Smaller government means more prosperity for all,less taxes means more money in your pocket,your company needs to think more like this kyle,until then the word “we” is a monkey in your pocket.

Moderate Line

November 13th, 2010
11:49 am

We have largely won over public opinion with the argument that low marginal tax rates foster economic prosperity. But we have not been as successful — yet — in making the case for also flattening and simplifying the tax code.
++++++++
After all of Bush’s tax cuts what happen to the economy?

Moderate Line

November 13th, 2010
11:53 am

Southern Comfort

November 13th, 2010
9:50 am
One small but encouraging sign is that the plan calls for an actual reduction of about 10 percent in today’s federal civilian work force.

Sounds good. However, if they do as they have done in the past and just replace them with contract workers, you end up in the same boat. The only way to reduce the work force 10% is to do away with the unnecessary government functions or redundant functions.
+++++++
Why didn’t the Republicans do this between 2001 and 2006?

CJ

November 13th, 2010
11:56 am

Kyle’s assertion that conservatives have won the argument that lower marginal rates lead to more economic prosperity defies reality. Poll after poll has indicated that the plurality of, if not most, Americans support allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for the top two rates (and a new CBS poll was just released that showed that 56 percent of Americans want Congress to focus on jobs;focusing on the deficit was in the single digits).

In addition, most Americans sense what the numbers are telling us…that in the last 25 years or so, four out of every five dollars of economic growth have gone to the top one percent (leaving, of course, the left over dollar to be shared among the other 99 percent). And anybody who claims that that top one percent “earned” 80 percent of all economic growth is delusional. The stole it…sometimes legally and sometimes not…but they did.

Higher marginal tax rates on the extremely wealthy accomplish, in part, a way to recover money stolen from the American people. Of course, that’s not the purpose of such rates. But when such rates are necessary to pay down the Bush debt, then recovering stolen funds is a nice by-product. (To those who would accuse me of class warfare, it’s the theft of 80 percent of economic growth that’s class warfare, not seeking to recover the money.)

With regard to the Bowles-Simpson report, it’s a joke. 98 percent of our deficit problem arises out of health care costs driving up the cost of Medicare. Sadly, this report offers nothing substantial on this issue. So, I got together with a friend and we formed a commission of our own. Our proposal has just two points: allow all Americans the option to buy into Medicare (collecting premiums from healthy people will offset losses from sick people) and pay doctors based on results rather than procedures. No the problem isn’t solved. But that’s a better start than Bowles and Simpson have to offer.

Southern Comfort

November 13th, 2010
12:52 pm

Why didn’t the Republicans do this between 2001 and 2006?

It wasn’t an issue then, I guess… The Republicans along with Clinton, I think, were the ones who “downsized” the government payrolls previously. The problem was that they simply contracted out jobs that public sector employees were already doing. That’s one of the reasons that people perceive government workers to be slow and unproductive. The general public does not know the difference between contract workers and actual government workers.

Claude

November 13th, 2010
1:10 pm

A flatter tax system without the huge variety of deductions and credits would be wonderful. John Boehner himself made a comment a few months ago that a lot of these tax benefits are really disguised spending plans. But there’s a reason all those deductions and credits were added, and the groups that pushed them through are still around. Right now, political organizations of all sorts seem to have mastered opposition. It’s governing that they haven’t figured out.

Michael H. Smith

November 13th, 2010
1:18 pm

Cutting spending is the first priority,Kyle. Spending cuts should proceed any further discussions on tax cuts. And, I’m not talking about simply cutting the rate of spending. I want cuts made down to the bone, even if it does mean cutting through some muscle too.
I’m very aggravated with these Republicans, especially those Republicans that want to control the Tea Party Movement by focusing solely on taxes while saying nothing about the out of control spending, which by the way, “THEY” – these so-called good conservatives of strong family values – seem more often than not to totally ignore.

YES REPUBLICANS, YOUR SPENDING HABITS SUCK NEARLY AS BAD AS THOSE OF THE SOCIALISTS DEMOCRATS !

Marco Rubio carries more weight with me than Dick Army and his ilk. At least Rubio has the guts to admit that the Republicans having a spending problem that is not much better, if any better at all, than that of the Democrats.

The Progressive Regressive Socialist Tax System we have presently definitely punishes wealth and those who desire to create it. However, the spending system we have is more hellish than our abominable repressive means of taxation.

I don’t disagree with Boles-Simpson on making cuts, it is all in the matter of how these cuts will be made that will probably divide us. The cutting the size and scope of GUB’MENT, the entitlements and ObumerCare is were the rubber is going to meet the road, so to speak.

Rafe Hollister

November 13th, 2010
1:52 pm

CJ: 11 Nov 2010 Poll

The findings of the Associated Press-GfK Poll suggest that the Republicans’ big win in last week’s Elections was not a mandate for the party’s legislative wish list.

Fifty-three percent in the poll said Income Tax Cuts that soon will expire should be renewed for all, including the highest earners. But 44 percent would continue the cut….

Disagrees with your figures. I guess AP is now a right wing organization.

Many of your want to cut spending first, which is not a bad idea, however, if you reduce revenue and refuse to raise the debt ceiling, then they big spenders have no other choice but spending cuts. Revenue reduction is essential to spending cuts. We all know that Barry and friends and in the past GWB were all spenders and if you leave money on the table it is going to be spent rather than applied to the debts.

CJ

November 13th, 2010
3:37 pm

Rafe Hollister: “…if you reduce revenue and refuse to raise the debt ceiling, then the big spenders have no other choice but spending cuts…

Hollister’s assertion that reducing revenues forces spending cuts is almost verbatim what Republicans claimed when they pushed the first round of Bush tax cuts. Result? They doubled our national debt.

Also, if politicians refuse to raise our debt ceiling next year, as Hollister recommends, then we’ll default on our debt and possibly send the world economy into a tail spin.

Drifter

November 13th, 2010
4:09 pm

I’d prefer a little more cutting on the spending side, but the commission made a good start. Everyone is going to have to give up something for us to get out of this mess. Any politician unwilling to do that needs to be booted out of office.

MRM

November 13th, 2010
4:12 pm

Thank you to “I REPORT” and other simple-minded folk for proving the adage coined by H.L. Mencken: “For every problem there is a solution that is simple, elegant, and wrong.” Two excellent non-extremist views about the Commission’s initial report, for either side of the liberal – conservative fence, were given by Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman and columnist David Brooks in the New York Times. Wipe that spittle off your chin and educate *yourself* for once.

WillieRae

November 13th, 2010
4:27 pm

The commission’s suggestions on spending cuts are an excellent start. While there will be pain, we need to face up to the reality that we need a smaller federal government. Simpson and Bowles did us a service by beginnig the debate.
On the tax side, we need to lose the targeted tax code and look to flatten rates and broaden the base. We need to develop a tax code in which all of us have a stake and can’t vote ourselves benefits without cost.