Wednesday, December 01, 2010

How come?

Today's Times reports that the President's commission on the national debt lacks to votes for a comprehensive plan.

There are essentially three ways to bring the federal budget into line and, ultimately, to reduce the national debt: 1) For the economy to grow fast enough so that increases in federal revenues are greater than increases in spending. 2) To raise taxes. 3) To cut spending.

How come the deficit commission concentrates almost all of its energy on the third of these? As do Republicans and a surprisingly high percentage of commentators who ought to know better. As far as raising taxes are concerned, the deficit commission's chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, would concentrate on extracting more from the middle- and working-classes while letting the affluent off pretty much scot-free. They pay no attention to the first source of needed funds.

Does that make sense to you? Me, neither. But maybe that's because we're not rich enough. Or being paid by those who are.

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