If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. . . . It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase. . . .I am not personally all that agitated about our budget deficit. Right now, I think, the government should be focused on ending the recession through stimulus. Once the economy is recovering, I would like to see the deficit brought down, but I will not sign onto any plan that doesn't involve major tax increases and major cuts in defense spending.
In 1970 the debt was just 40 percent of gross domestic product, or about $425 billion. When it reaches $18 trillion, it will be 40 times greater than in 1970. This debt explosion has resulted not from big spending by the Democrats, but instead the Republican Party’s embrace, about three decades ago, of the insidious doctrine that deficits don’t matter if they result from tax cuts.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
A Serious Conservative on the Budget
David Stockman, once Reagan's budget director, tells Republicans the truth about taxes and the deficit: