Stockman on Fiscal Situation

In Sunday’s NYTThe Bipartisan March to Fiscal Madness

IT is obvious that the nation’s desperate fiscal condition requires higher taxes on the middle class, not just the richest 2 percent. Likewise, entitlement reform requires means-testing the giant Social Security and Medicare programs, not merely squeezing the far smaller safety net in areas like Medicaid and food stamps.

Unfortunately, in proposing tax increases only for the very rich, President Obama has denied the first of these fiscal truths, while Representative Paul D. Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, has contradicted the second by putting the entire burden of entitlement reform on the poor. The resulting squabble is not only deepening the fiscal stalemate, but also bringing us dangerously close to class war.

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Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is a Professor of Political Science and a College of Arts and Sciences Dean. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter


  1. john personna says:

    I agree. It’s pretty simple really.

    It’s too bad that means test are so off the table right now.

  2. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Raising taxes on the (shrinking) middle classes during a period of ghastly unemployment and a disasterous housing market for those very same middle classes would go down as one of the dumbest ideas in history. You’d literally have to be an idiot to advocate for such nonsense. Even Obama is not stupid enough to push in that direction, which is saying something because the guy has linguini for brains. Fortunately, with adults back in charge at least of the U.S. House, the chances of any of that actually happening are zero.

  3. sam says:

    ” Fortunately, with adults back in charge at least of the U.S. House”


  4. gVOR08 says:

    “…bringing us dangerously close to class war.” What exactly does David Stockman think has been going on in this country for the last thiry plus years? Looked a lot like class war to me. And the wealthy won easily, as they were the only ones fighting.

  5. hey norm says:

    Stockman…didn’t he run the office of management and budget for reagan? didn’t the debt double under reagan? right…

  6. john personna says:

    hey norm, then maybe he didn’t so much “run” it.

  7. @hey norm:

    Stockman left the admin in 85 and became a critic of tax cuts and deficit spending sans spending cuts (as well as concerned about the trends in debt and deficits).

  8. An Interested Party says:

    Fortunately, with adults back in charge at least of the U.S. House, the chances of any of that actually happening are zero.

    Oh look, the joke of the week…

    By the way, anyone who thinks that spending cuts alone will fix the budget problem is more than welcome to point out what specific cuts in the budget will get rid of the deficit…

  9. wr says:

    AIP — All we’ve got to do is eliminate the department of education. That has been thoroughly proved on this very blog.