Quote of the Day, Budget Edition

“I’ve said this before, and I will say it again. Unless your proposal includes a substantial increase in taxes and a substantial amount of cuts to the military budget as well as ending the farm subsidies and giveaways to big oil and big energy and big business, you can kindly just shut up about the deficit and the debt. Additionally, any cuts to entitlements need to include cuts to the CURRENT recipients, not grandfathering the boomers and then wondering why the cuts never materialize in the future.

If you aren’t going to do those things, just shut up. You aren’t serious.”
John Cole

Personally, I don’t think that any politician who voted to extend the Bush tax cuts has any credibility on the deficit whatsoever. I don’t think that any politician who takes federal subsidies for their business has any credibility on the deficit whatsoever. (I’m looking at you, in particular, Michelle Bachmann.) I don’t think any politician who has voted to extend the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as “off-budget”, without voting for tax increases to pay for the additional expenditures, has any credibility of the deficit whatsoever.

I’m tired of politicians claiming that tax cuts in the form of deductions and credits aren’t really “spending” — while deriding the “$900 billion” surplus, of which over 1/3 was tax cuts.

Cut the defense budget. Cut business subsidies. De-cartelize the health care industry. Raise taxes. Means test entitlements. End the FICA income cap. This is how you balance the budget.

Everything else is just chasing after the wind.

FILED UNDER: Deficit and Debt, Quick Takes, US Politics
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.

Comments

  1. While I wouldn’t put it as stridently as John (but that is just a question of style as much as anything else), this is basically what I was getting at yesterday when I noted in my post about the budget:

    I do not think one can be considered serious about the deficit and debt unless one is willing to address the issues of entitlements, defense spending and the issue of raising additional revenues (i.e., raising taxes)

    And by that definition of “serious” we have no serious politicians in power at the moment.




    0



    0
  2. Gustopher says:

    “Cut the defense budget. Cut business subsidies. De-cartelize the health care industry. Raise taxes. Means test entitlements. End the FICA income cap. This is how you balance the budget.”

    There’s no money in means testing, unless the plan is to stop paying Social Security to the middle class retirees.

    It might even cost more to administrate the means testing than it would save.




    0



    0
  3. Alex Knapp says:

    @Gustopher –

    I was actually thinking more along the lines of Medicare premiums. I agree with you on SS.




    0



    0
  4. RobF says:

    Did you mean “stimulus” rather than “surplus”?




    0



    0
  5. William Teach says:

    So, Alex, can we assume, since you are so dead set against the tax cuts, you’ve been sending extra money at the pre-2001/2003 levels to the IRS, and will do so this year? I’ll bet the answer is “no.” Like most liberals you talk a good game, but, never practice what you preach.




    0



    0
  6. Pug says:

    …you’ve been sending extra money at the pre-2001/2003 levels to the IRS, and will do so this year?

    And we can assume since you are so against taxes that you and no one in your family benefits in any way from governemnt spending, right? If they do, you should return the money to Uncle Sam. Maybe Grandma had some medical expense you didn’t pay for?

    I work with a right-winger who is constantly bitching about government spending and socialism. Then, his father-in-law had a stroke and spent six weeks in intensive care. I’m assuming the government picked up that $200,000 check, not the constantty bitching right-winger.

    Like it not, Alex and John Cole are right. Without both significant spending cuts and some tax increases the deficit, and certainly not the debt, is not going away. Even St. Ronald Reagan knew that and passed several tax increases to try to reduce his runaway deficits. Tired old talking points like the one above just prove most people, including Republicans, aren’t serious.




    0



    0
  7. MBunge says:

    “So, Alex, can we assume, since you are so dead set against the tax cuts, you’ve been sending extra money at the pre-2001/2003 levels to the IRS, and will do so this year?”

    This ranks right up there with the “No one can talk about climate change if they’ve ever flown in a chartered jet” argument. It’s the sort of thing your petulant 16 throws at you when they’ve got nothing else to say.

    Mike




    0



    0