published Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Support for low spending, low taxes

A 12-member "super committee" in Congress has the task of finding up to $1.5 trillion worth of reductions in federal deficits over the next 10 years. In the face of our country's $14.6 trillion debt, $1.5 trillion in deficit cuts is inadequate to the point of being absurd.

But to make matters worse, Democrats on the committee will be pushing to make tax increases -- not just spending cuts -- part of the package that the committee will present to the full Congress for an up-or-down vote. The president and Democrats in Congress also want to spend billions more dollars to "stimulate" the economy -- despite the failure of the previous "stimulus" to create the jobs that the administration predicted it would create.

Before Congress and the president go down the destructive path of raising taxes, promoting more "stimulus" and not really getting our spending under control, they might want to consider the views of the American people and a lot of economists.

A recent McClatchy Newspapers-Marist survey found that Americans overwhelmingly favor cutting the debt over more "stimulus" spending. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said the United States should reduce the debt. Only 33 percent said it would be better to have more stimulus.

Republicans favored debt reduction over new spending by 79 percent to 15 percent. Among independents, the margin was 61 percent to 32 percent in favor of debt reduction. Only Democrats slightly favored more spending versus reducing the debt -- by 50 percent to 45 percent.

Meanwhile, a new survey of hundreds of economists found that they think the best way to reduce deficits is exclusively or primarily with spending cuts -- not tax increases.

The National Association for Business Economics -- made up of economists who practice their profession in the business world -- surveyed 250 of its economists.

Nearly three-fifths said deficit reduction should be accomplished mostly or entirely by cutting spending. Only 37 percent said there should be equal spending cuts and tax increases.

Congress and the president should listen to the American people and to real-world economists, and drop any plans for more "stimulus" spending and higher taxes.

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dfclapp said...

Despite the careful spin on this editorial (e.g. implying that the choice is between tax increases equal to any cuts), the truth is that 92% of Americans, given an understanding of the issues we face, would opt for both deep cuts and tax increases. Republicans are correct in blocking Obama's continued payroll tax reduction, but wrong in refusing to close out other tax giveaways and loopholes. Most have refused to consider even $1 in closed tax loopholes for every $10 in cuts.

The Concord Coalition has noted that the Bush tax cuts are not the best remedy for anything. They contribute to the deficit and they are not the best way to create jobs. Congress has buried the tax code in loopholes and subsidies. Any super committee member charged with solving our problems who refuses to consider closing these revenue drains/giveaways while insisting on deep cuts that will harm many should be ashamed.

August 24, 2011 at 6:17 a.m.
EaTn said...

The payroll tax is a prime example of the right-wingers attitude to tax reduction. While it does provide tax relief to the middle class, I disagree with it since it also boosts the argument of the right wing for doom of social security longterm. However, the right-wing argument is that it should be for the benefit of the employers tax reduction instead of the middle class employees tax reduction.

August 24, 2011 at 8:57 a.m.
librul said...

Cut Pentagon waste and end the trillion dollar wars. Closing tax loopholes and ending Bush's tax cut giveaways will just be icing on the cake.

August 24, 2011 at 9:21 a.m.
LibDem said...

The National Association for Business Economics website says the poll results showed 6.8% supported debt reduction with mostly tax increases, 37.1% supported half and half tax increases and expense cuts. 56.1% supported only or mostly cuts. This is not overwhelming support for no tax cuts as the Editor (Liberal Arts Major?) would have us believe. Somewhere between 44% and 99% support some tax increases.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I'm mostly opposed to ax murders.)

August 24, 2011 at 12:05 p.m.
LibDem said...

That should have been "...overwhelming support for no tax increases...". Sorry.

August 24, 2011 at 12:08 p.m.
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