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By Nick Krug
May 23, 2011
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U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran gives his thoughts on the debt ceiling during a town hall-style meeting at the Lawrence Public Library on Monday.
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He does realize that you can't end the deficit by spending reductions alone, doesn't he? No, I bet he doesn't. He's hoping you don't, either. Anyone ask him about Paul Ryan's plan? That would be an amusing dance to see him do in front of all those old people.
A. The U.S. has 2 serious long term challenges: a perpetual inability to balance its spending with revenues and global climate change. For one, the GOP has talked itself into apoplexy that the problem must be resolved yesterday and only by looking at the spending side, and ignoring that tax revenues not only are at their lowest levels in living memory but that the U.S. has almost the lowest tax levels of any industrialized country in the world. For the other, when it isn't total denial, the GOP talks of needing more study or wondering if changes are just a natural cycle. In short, proposes nothing as the world moves past the 'if' stage and rushes toward the 'when'.
B. "Our country will be broke." The U.S. isn't within a light-year of being broke. We have a serious revenue problem in this country created by unaffordable tax cuts, that when combined with the expense of multiple wars, hundreds of billions in business welfare (I'm looking at you Koch Bros.!) and the burden of the highest medical costs in the world, leaves us with a perpetual budget deficit. Increasing tax levels to that of Canada, not only would leave us still near the bottom in terms of tax revenues, but would instantly balance the budget and leave a surplus. If you hear a politician talk about our budget deficit but refuse to countenance the return to tax levels significantly below what Reagan had(!) then you're hearing a politician who isn't at all interested in the budget deficit.
BTW - what's with Moran's hayseed couture? Most of the audience is dressed more like respectable adults than he is. Does Moran think the people believe he normally puts on a costume to look a hick fallen off the turnip truck? Are we to believe he just now wandered in from the fields?
According to the longer article this should be linked with, he came in from Reading and surveying the tornado damage. I'll give him a pass for not wearing a suit, but he does still look like he's wearing his pander costume.
I never cease to be amazed by the fact there are still people out there who genuinely believe that our country's fiscal troubles could be solved by increasing taxes.
From the Wall Street Journal recently:
Consider the Internal Revenue Service’s income tax statistics for 2008, the latest year for which data are available. The top 1% of taxpayers—those with salaries, dividends and capital gains roughly above about $380,000—paid 38% of taxes. But assume that tax policy confiscated all the taxable income of all the “millionaires and billionaires” Mr. Obama singled out. That yields merely about $938 billion, which is sand on the beach amid the $4 trillion White House budget, a $1.65 trillion deficit, and spending at 25% as a share of the economy, a post-World War II record.
Say we take it up to the top 10%, or everyone with income over $114,000, including joint filers. That’s five times Mr. Obama’s 2% promise. The IRS data are broken down at $100,000, yet taxing all income above that level throws up only $3.4 trillion. And remember, the top 10% already pay 69% of all total income taxes, while the top 5% pay more than all of the other 95%.
Serious revenue problem you say? Lets try this: How about we have the imperial federal government confiscate 100% of the money earned by that evil rich top 1% of taxpayers who earned $1.6 trillion in 2010. This still doesn't come close to solving the problem because we will spend $3.7 trillion this year.
Since taking everything the top 1% make won't do, lets confiscate 100% of everything the top 10% of income earners made. This barely covers a little more than half of the deficit.
Lets see - maybe if we take all the money the top 10% of income earners make AND took all military spending — not just the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but the whole shebang — and cut DoD to $0.00, we’d save about $664 billion a year. Iraq and Afghanistan will cost about $170 billion combined in FY2011. $834 billion - barely half the deficit.
What else...how about ending the evil Bush tax cuts for “the rich” people — the $250,000-and-up crowd, in Obama’s formulation. That would put on average about another $80 billion a year into Treasury coffers. (CBO estimates the ten-year cost of those tax cuts at $800 billion.) The spending on the wars and the forgone revenue from the Bush tax cuts do not add up to much of that $1.6 trillion deficit. A little more than half and this assumes some economic growth occurs.
We have a spending problem - plain and simple. Raising taxes on "rich" people (who pay most of the taxes as it is) will simply kill job creation and any thinking person knows this. Most Americans realize this, hence the outcome of the last election.
An editorial from a Murdoch owned paper that thinks the rich are taxed too much? Say it ain't so!
It has to be a combination of spending cuts and increasing taxes and eliminating subsidies.
Tell me how your proposal plans out with this site:
Moran made an excellent point. If Congress raises taxes, it will spend much more than the govt has. If Congress cuts taxes, it will spend much more than the govt has.
Until Congress gets a grip, tax talk is a waste of time.
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