The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Republican Congress makes another play to expand debt limit

Maybe all is not lost at the Washington Post. This editorial seems eminently sensible.

To make their budget-busting tax policy appear less costly than it is, the lawmakers are resorting to a gimmick that is even more egregious than their usual tactics.

This one would, as usual, hide the cost of tax cuts that primarily benefit upper-income Americans. But it would accomplish that budgetary smoke and mirrors with a new tax provision, involving retirement savings accounts, that also benefits the well-to-do. And, to top things off, this new tax provision, while masking the cost of the tax cuts by bringing in more revenue in the short term, would in the long run worsen the fiscal situation by piling on more debt. (. . .)

Bottom line: A Senate rule designed to make it harder to increase the deficit would be circumvented with a maneuver that would end up increasing the deficit. And a tax cut for wealthier Americans that would cost $50 billion over 10 years would be "paid for" in part by another tax cut for the well-off, which would end up costing billions more. That's amazing -- even from this Congress.

It's pretty difficult to sum up this double whammy, so I'd recommend reading the full article.