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Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Department of Duh"

James Kwak:

Department of “Duh”, by James Kwak: The Times has a story out today: Surprise, all the Republican candidates’ tax plans increase the national deficit! The numbers (reduction in 2015 tax revenues, from the Tax Policy Center):

  • Romney: $600 billion
  • Gingrich: $1.3 trillion
  • (Late lamented) Perry: $1.0 trillion
  • Santorum: $1.3 trillion

I guess that makes Romney the “fiscally responsible” choice, at least among the Republicans. But President Obama’s tax proposals would only reduce 2015 tax revenues by $222 billion. (That’s $385 billion in Table S-4 less $163 billion in Table S-3.)

Second surprise: The big winners in all of these tax plans are the rich! (That’s not just in dollars, but in percentage increase in after-tax income.)

I don’t mean to be hard on the Times reporters. This is exactly the kind of story they should be writing. Someone has to point out that the same people who are complaining about deficits are proposing to vastly increase those deficits. Especially when their fantastic claims are essentially going unchallenged on the campaign trail.

The call for deficit reduction is really a cover for the ideological goal of smaller government. That's why "starve the beast" tax cuts that increase the deficit do not create an uproar among the so-called deficit hawks.

    Posted by on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:30 AM in Budget Deficit, Economics, Politics | Permalink  Comments (23)


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