NY Times Editorial Board Hearts Economic Draft Proposal

by William Teach | November 11, 2010 8:00 am

Especially the parts about raising taxes and cutting the military: Some Fiscal Reality[1]

The draft proposal by the chairmen of President Obama’s deficit-reduction commission was a welcome antidote to the low-minded debate that dominated the midterm elections, in which politicians all vowed to reduce the deficit but offered no credible plans.

By low minded debate, they mean you TEA Partiers and everyone else who followed along and voted to throw all the Democrats out of the House, State legislatures, and governorships.

The proposal[2], released Wednesday, comes from Erskine Bowles, formerly the chief of staff for President Bill Clinton, and Alan Simpson, the former Republican senator from Wyoming. It frankly acknowledges what most politicians are too cowardly to admit – that deficit reduction will require shared sacrifice.

Their right, it should be shared. Shared by the federal government, which needs to seriously reduce expenditures, and revamp how they spend, and Democrat voters, who love taxes so much, and voted for idiots who drastically increased spending, the debt, and the deficit, so, should have their taxes raised. Huh? That’s not what they meant. Oops.

TAXES The proposal includes three options for tax reform, two of which would simplify the code by reducing income tax rates while modifying or repealing many tax deductions and other tax breaks. The third calls on Congress to undertake tax reform, while putting in place automatic tax increases if it fails to act by 2013.

The sensible aim is to raise more money – roughly $1 trillion over 10 years – than under the current system. We wish the co-chairmen had come right out and said directly that the country needs to raise taxes. Instead, the proposal says coyly that the tax changes would “reduce the deficit.”

No one is stopping all the liberals out there, including the Fish Wrap editorial board, from ponying up and paying more taxes. They’ve whined about lower tax rates for almost a decade now, yet, they never seem to put their money where their mouths are. Regardless, since we know liberals will never match their actions with their rhetoric, taxation to stimulate an economy and do things like reduce the federal deficit and debt won’t work, because government officials, especially Democrats, will never cut back on spending. And yes, this does include Republicans under Bush, who took all the extra tax money from the tax cuts and went hog wild.

THE MILITARY The new proposal would go far beyond that, anticipating $100 billion in military budget cuts in 2015 alone – and would put the savings into deficit reduction.

It calls for freezing salaries and bonuses for the Pentagon’s civilian work force and noncombat military pay, cutting weapons procurement by 15 percent and slashing military personnel at bases in Europe and Asia by one-third. All ideas well worth debating.

Obviously, all liberals love cutting the military, and reducing that evil military industrial complex. Now, cuts are not really so bad, which goes for all federal agencies. What really needs to be done is to streamline the appropriation and spending processes, closer to the way private companies spend and appropriate (without the making a profit portion, obviously.) That’s a massive conversation in detail for another day.

They also like some of the Social Security and health care ideas, especially those that raise taxes and introduce a public option, and end with

As we read the chairmen’s proposal, we had one very strong reaction: We hoped the Republicans would pause long enough in their gleeful planning of President Obama’s final defeat, and the Democrats would stop wringing their hands, long enough to read this important document – and then act on it.

Wasn’t that the same yammer we heard about the 9/11 Commission, the provisions of which Democrats immediately promised to implement in full, and then forgot about when they regained the House and Senate?

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove[3]. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach[4]. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive[5]!

  1. Some Fiscal Reality: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/opinion/11thu1.html?_r=1&hp
  2. The proposal: http://documents.nytimes.com/draft-proposal-from-the-national-commission-on-fiscal-responsibility-and-reform?ref=politics#p=1
  3. Pirate’s Cove: http://www.thepiratescove.us/
  4. @WilliamTeach: http://twitter.com/WilliamTeach
  5. sit back and Relax. we’ll dRive: http://www.cafepress.com/wteach1

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