Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Do ya do ya want my cash?

People, Robert Reich slipped up this week and put in writing what a lot of progressives really think about our current fiscal situation:

"Tuesday, the President meets with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders to begin working out a compromise for extending the Bush tax cuts. Both parties say they want to preserve the tax cuts for lower- and middle-income families. But this would cost $3 trillion over the next decade. Republicans also want to extend them permanently for the top 2 percent of earners, for an added $700 billion. The top don’t need the cuts, don’t deserve them, and won’t spend the windfall (and thereby stimulate the economy)."

Ah yes, rich people just plain old don't deserve to keep their money. They might do something with it that the progressives wouldn't approve.

It's a strange argument to make; the $3 trillion "tax cut" is OK, while it's the $700 billion "cut" that blows out the budget.


Richard Stands said...

Not to mention the baseline assumption that all private funds belong to the government unless otherwise hoarded by the greedy citizenry. Therefore, any largess in not collecting those funds is a "cost" to government.

Anonymous said...

So is this an argument to extend (permanently?) all the tax cuts or an argument to allow them to expire for everyone? And before anyone argues for extending them for everyone, please provide a detailed list of all federal government spending you will cut in order to balance the budget. Here, I'll get you started: Social Security, Medicare, Defense...

jeremy h. said...

Thankfully, Angus has already complied with your request a few weeks back:

Eric said...

Big WTF on the whole "windfall" thingy, too.

Anonymous said...


I did see Angus's earlier post. I also noticed his (overstated) estimate of a 2 or 3 percent chance of his plan ever passing.

Which means that, with his plan, nothing would happen and the status quo would prevail.

What all is lost here is a serious conversation about what we want government to do and what we don't want it to do. Libertarians say "very little," conservatives say "slightly more," and liberals say "quite a bit."

The answer to our fiscal situation is going to have to be a compromise. The vast majority of the public does not want to do away with as much government as the typical libertarian does. So libertarians will have to settle for more government/regulation. And we can't balance the budget on tax increases alone (sorry liberals) or spending cuts alone (sorry conservatives).

Does anyone have real, feasible ideas about how to get this done? Or can any of the idiots we send to DC rise above their, well, idiocy, and provide some leadership on this?

Angus said...

I agree that a compromise is necessary, I am just trying to point out in the post that arguments about who "deserves" to keep their money are not very objective or constructive.