The Heritage Foundation’s Brian Riedl continues to defend his claim that the Bush tax cuts aren’t a major contributor to current and future deficits. Our analysis shows otherwise.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
Last week, 42 senators voted for a proposal by Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) to permanently extend all of the Bush income tax rate cuts while cutting programs to pay for it (though they didn’t specify which ones). Supporters included all Senate Republicans except Senator George Voinovich, plus two Democrats — Senators Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln. This vote, which has received little media attention, constitutes a major warning to anyone concerned about the nation’s fiscal future and its basic priorities.
The National League’s home run leader, Washington Nationals slugger Adam Dunn, hit two homers on Wednesday in the Nats’ 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. What would you do if a disgruntled Diamondback suggested that Major League Baseball should not count those homers toward his individual home run total and toward the Nats’ run total in their 7-2 win because, somehow, this amounted to “double counting”? You’d laugh, right?
Listen below to Executive Director Robert Greenstein and Senior Fellow Paul Van de Water discuss the new annual reports, released today, of the Social Security and Medicare trustees.
The trustees of the Social Security and Medicare trust funds will release their annual reports tomorrow. Although these reports generally come out by April 15, the trustees often miss that deadline. This year, the trustees delayed the reports to give the actuaries at the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services time to incorporate the effects of the Affordable Care Act (the recently enacted health reform legislation).
Here are a few things to anticipate and keep in mind about the reports to come tomorrow:
Today, we sat down with Chuck Marr, the Center’s Director of Federal Tax Policy, to discuss the tax cuts that are set to expire at the end of the year.
At its meeting yesterday, the President’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform discussed imposing a numerical limit on federal spending as a share of the economy. One of the commission’s co-chairs has suggested capping spending and revenues at 21
percent of gross domestic product (GDP), the average spending level over the past 40 years. But as I explain in a new report, averages from the past aren’t a good guide for the future:
On our conference call for journalists this morning, former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Alan Blinder made the case for letting President Bush’s tax cuts for those making more than $250,000 expire this year and using the savings over the next two years for measures that would better stimulate the economy, such as extended unemployment benefits and food stamps. Below is the audio and a cleaned-up transcript of the presentation portion of the call.
Even some key members of Congress who agree that President Bush’s tax cuts for people making over $250,000 are unaffordable have raised concerns that letting them expire in December would slow the already weak economy. Fortunately, Congress can boost short-term growth and help reduce long-term deficits: sunset the high-income tax cuts on schedule, re-channel the near-term revenues to far more efficient ways to generate growth and jobs, and use the long-term savings to reduce the deficit.
In an earlier post I explained that when it comes to the nation’s long-term debt problem, what matters is the size of the debt held by the public, not the gross debt, and warned that the President’s deficit commission would go seriously off track if it focused on the wrong measure. The Center issued a new report today that explores this issue in greater depth. Here’s the executive summary: