Sunday, August 1, 2010

What Makes Up the Largest Part of Deficit? Bush's Tax Cuts

I love me some Fareed Zakaria, and today, my love for this intellectual foreign policy wonk only increased. (I mean "love" as in appreciate for his insight; I prefer Zakaria's writing to his TV show, though both are excellent in different ways.)

Today,  policy expert Zakaria had a handy little segment on his show (CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS") where he demonstrated how the largest swath of the deficit is actually due to the Dubya-era tax cuts for the wealthy. 

He called those cuts "irresponsible," which they obviously are/were, and he wondered aloud how the Republicans can go around blaming Obama for the deficit (which is absurd) and "running it up," when it was their own guy who caused the problem with tax cuts...and, oh yes, (as I note here) those two never-ending, pointless and hopelessly expensive wars.

Clinton, Zakaria reminded his viewers, was the only president to preside over a balanced budget in 40 years. Erasing the Bush tax cuts would bring tax levels back to what they were during Clinton's tenure, when, as you may recall, we had the strongest economic growth in decades.

If Republicans vote early next year to extend the ridiculous Bush tax cuts, then we will know with absolute certainty that they don't care jack about the deficit, only about being difficult.

Typically, though, Republicans have been ranting and raving about how we can't spend money on social programs "because of the huge deficit."

But unemployment benefits, as Zakaria noted, are good for the economy, in actuality, since the money doled out is instantly returned. Taxes saved are usually only stuffed under a mattress, especially since the Great Recession. That doesn't help the deficit at all, and anyone who tells you more tax cuts are what we need is talking out of the wrong orifice (sorry, but it's true).

There is a solution, though, to eradicating at least 30% of the deficit (that is hundreds of billions of dollars), and it can be accomplished instantaneously, as soon as the stupid tax cuts expire, as they will soon: simply don't renew them.

Thirty percent of the deficit goes away, and no one gets hurt.

It's like magic.

Who couldn't agree to a solution so easy? It's the perfect way for a "do-nothing Congress to do...nothing and yet actually accomplish something," as Zakaria pointed out.

Will it happen? Yes, if we demand it. So get busy, since you know Congress is full of scaredy cats who only care about saving their own tails. They have to act like they did something, even if they actually didn't...


  1. Everyone in power seems to only care about saving his own tail. Which is why no one should be allowed to stay in power for too long (example: Rangel).

  2. I know. Why aren't there Congresssional term limits?? Career politicians are almost always sickening.