Senator Chuck Schumer Drops Futile Truth Bombs About Tax Reform
11:30 am, October 9th | by Sarah Devlin
Congress has been working on a bipartisan deal to reduce the deficit through “an overhaul of the tax code that lowers top income tax rates but raises more revenue.” Lawmakers from both parties have been slowly coming on board, but New York Senator Charles Schumer is drawing a new line in the sand opposing the legislation on the grounds that it’s basically a fantasy.
From The New York Times:
“It is an alluring prospect to cut taxes on the wealthiest people and somehow still reduce the deficit, but you can’t have your cake and eat it, too,” Mr. Schumer’s prepared remarks said. “The reality is, any path forward on tax reform that promised to cut rates will end up either failing to reduce the deficit or failing to protect the middle class from a net tax increase.”
In January, all of the Bush-era tax cuts expire and $1 trillion of automatic, across-the-board cuts to defense and domestic programs over the next 10 years begin to go into force. Republicans and some senior Democrats had been gravitating to a deficit-reduction framework that relied heavily on tax changes to bring both parties on board.
Those changes would allow tax rates to actually fall, but would count on enough changes to tax deductions and credits to raise as much as $2 trillion over the next decade. Republicans could claim they prevented an increase in tax rates. Democrats could say they forced Republicans to add additional revenues to spending cuts to get a handle on deficits that again topped $1 trillion for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30.
Ahhh, call me crazy, but “cutting taxes and then counting on enough changes to deductions and credits to not only make up the difference but actually increase revenue” seems like a pretty risky strategy. The framework for this deal came out of the near-mythic-at-this-point Erskine Bowles commission that was formed with bipartisan support and then promptly ignored, bypartisan-ly. Schumer is calling for a different framework that reduces the deficit through the overhaul of huge entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare…which Democrats and Republicans hardly ever agree on, except that they shouldn’t be touched and we can’t afford them. What do you think — will Schumer’s arguments spark the creation of a new bipartisan plan that everyone can live with? Hahahahaha, just kidding, we’re never going to fix anything.
[Photo via Politico]