Thinking Inside the Box – The Common Sense Deficit

Does it bother anyone that in this epic battle and predictable compromise around tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and a host of other smaller incentives, that it never even occurred to a single politician that we should pay for the package through spending cuts?

I’m sure someone will do the math of how much this adds to the deficit, but it seems like billions.  Did I hear right?  Lower social security payroll taxes when social security is upside down in cash flow?  Really?

Why wasn’t it an option to extend the tax cuts for all Americans, even those evil job creating wealthy, then cut $800B or whatever it costs in spending so its paid for?  It’s called trade-offs.  It’s called prioritization.  Tax cuts are more important than farm subsidies for example, one gets funded, the other gets cut.

The net result would be neutral on the debt, neither good nor bad.  But it would mean that you have all that extra spending power in the system, the debt would not have increased, and you would have set a great precedent for Pay-Go.

Why didn’t the obvious thing that would have occurred to any household in America facing the same choice, occur to Congress or the President?  If we want to spend more money in the form of “tax expenditures” then we have to cut spending elsewhere.

There is a box that these folks crawl into when they cross the Potomac, and they check they’re brain and common sense at the door.

What do you think?

Guest Blogger Jeff


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