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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, October 02, 2012

 
Democrats shouldn't clean up Republican fiscal messes

by David Atkins

Greg Sargent points out how full of shit Paul Ryan is:

But there's another moment that deserves more attention. In it, Ryan finally did get a bit more specific about the middle class deductions the Romney plan would not target to pay for its enormous tax cuts.

This makes the Romney plan’s math even harder — and more likely to explode the deficit. Here’s the key bit (at around the 5:30 mark), in which Ryan is talking about taxes on the rich:

“If you subject more of their income to taxation — more of their income is taxed — and that allows us to lower revenues for everybody across the board. That means middle class taxpayers have lower tax rates, and there’s plenty of fiscal room to keep these important preferences for middle class taxpayers — you know, like charitable donations, or buying a home, or health care. Every time we’ve done this, we’ve created economic growth.”

Ryan seems to be saying the Romney plan won’t touch the charitable deduction, mortgage interest deduction, or exclusion for health insurance enjoyed by middle class Americans. He doesn’t take them off the table officially, but he articulates that as a specific goal.

But this will make it even harder for Romney and Ryan to keep their pledge to make their plan revenue neutral. Remember, the Romney plan would cut taxes across the board by 20 percent for everyone, and would supposedly pay for those tax cuts by targeting loopholes and deductions enjoyed by the rich. But the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center found that this is not mathematically possible — to maintain the plan’s deficit neutrality, you would have to target loopholes that benefit the middle class, too, hiking their tax burden. Yet here Ryan seems to be ruling some of them out as targets.
They're just lying.

If they were telling the truth on one level, it would mean massive tax decreases on the rich, and massive tax increases on the poor and middle class. I think Republicans would like to do that. After all, they think students and seniors and the working poor are freeloaders who should pay more into the system that is already screwing them. Politically, however, they would never do it.

No, they'll just do what Republicans always do: cut taxes, balloon the deficit, and then whine and scream about the deficit when a Democrat takes office so that the Democrat will make the "starve the beast" cuts for them.

There is no reason for Democrats to cooperate with this. Since Republicans or some version of them will inevitably win the White House about half the time in our binary system, let the Republicans take responsibility for cutting the popular stuff. They're the ones who "starved the beast" in the first place. It's not our job to clean up their mess. Let them embrace Simpson-Bowles and the rest of the lemmings, and we can do things the Keynesian way.


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