Senate Republicans vowed this week to block all legislation until the Senate “prevented the tax increase that is currently awaiting all American taxpayers.” But despite all the public attention to the ongoing tax debate, few seem to recognize that the major GOP tax proposals that have been put forward — such as those from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and from Congressman Mike Pence and Senator Jim DeMint — wouldn’t extend President Obama’s expiring tax cuts, only President Bush’s.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS
We praised the original proposal that the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission issued on November 10 for putting all parts of the budget on the table and outlining an array of hard choices. But we concluded that the plan doesn’t represent a balanced approach to bringing deficits under control, and we listed six improvements that were particularly needed. Now that co-chairs Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson have issued a revised, final proposal, here’s a brief look at the degree to which it addresses those six needed improvements:
The Center’s executive director, Robert Greenstein, and its director of federal fiscal policy, James R. Horney, have issued a statement on the new deficit reduction plan that the co-chairs of the President’s fiscal commission announced today:
As the House prepares to vote tomorrow on whether to extend President Bush’s tax cuts for families making under $250,000, it’s worth revisiting the main reasons why it would be unwise to extend the tax cuts for families making over $250,000 at the same time, as many in Congress favor.
The Bowles-Simpson deficit-reduction plan (about which we blogged here) has overshadowed a report that the Peterson-Pew Commission on Budget Reform released last week. Although the Bowles-Simpson plan relies far too much on program cuts and too little on revenue increases, at least it proposes specific policy changes to reduce deficits. The Peterson-Pew Commission report, in contrast, lets lawmakers off the hook by blaming the budget process for much of the nation’s long-term fiscal problem.
As Congress decides whether to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, we thought it might be useful to keep in mind what the federal debt would be with and without an unpaid-for extension.
In this podcast, we’ll discuss the key issues facing Congress during the lame duck session that began yesterday. I’m Michelle Bazie and I’m joined by Jim Horney, the Center’s director of Federal Fiscal Policy.
We issued a major analysis today of the November 10 proposal by the co-chairs of President Obama’s fiscal commission, former Clinton White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles and former Republican Senator Alan Simpson.
Yesterday, Robert Greenstein weighed in on the New York Times’ “Room for Debate” forum, which features commentary from policy experts on a variety of pressing issues. Yesterday’s topic was “16 Ways to Cut the Deficit,” and his recommendation was to let the high-income tax cuts enacted during the Bush Administration expire on schedule, while extending all tax cuts for middle- and low-income households. Here’s the commentary:
President Obama has proposed a new tax break for business investment. It’s intended to boost the economy, but it would have the unintended effect of worsening states’ already severe budget problems. That, in turn, would force states to take steps that would undercut the hoped-for economic stimulus.