Category Archives: Politics

Congressional Budget Fail

How not to sell a federal budget to the public: call it $4 trillion in cuts, then call it $38 billion in cuts, then have the CBO tell you it’s actually $383 million in cuts with a $400 billion increase over the current-policy baseline…and then be lambasted for “nihilistic extremism” and “ruinous spending cuts.”"...and then a miracle happens"

The new plan doesn’t commit to decreasing government spending below 23% of GDP, when our best-case-scenario revenue is about 19.5% revenue. So we can count on an anual deficit of greater than 3.5% of GDP, under optimal conditions. Additionally, social security, the largest item on the federal budget sheet, is left entirely untouched.

I like that “tax increases” are now called “spending cuts in our tax code” – which implies that all of our money actually belongs to the government, and we should be thankful for all the money it doesn’t take from us.

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The New York Times

…has been factually incorrect on at least two occasions this week.

The first was just another case of “the boy who cried Kochtopus.”

As for GE and our corporate tax code, Megan McArdle at The Atlantic puts it rather eloquently:

For me, this is an argument against complexity, not an argument against GE.  Sure, maybe you’ll gin up enough outrage to cut back on the foreign tax breaks that GE now takes advantage of.  But they–or something else–will come back.  It takes a constant mustering of political energy to prevent a corporation from getting this sort of thing through; as soon as you let that energy flag for a second, they’ll slip through.  (So will the AARP!)  And not because of campaign contributions, but because congressmen are ill-informed about the many, many, many subjects they must vote on; because these corporations have headquarters in congressional districts; and because there are frequently at least some good arguments in favor of even tax breaks which are, on net, a bad idea.

So… eliminate the corporate tax. The latest Republican budget would lower the corporate tax by 10%, but there doesn’t seem to be much evidence that taking a highly burdensome tax and making it a fairly burdensome tax will greatly affect tax avoidance tactics and heavy corporate lobbying.

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