August 10, 2010

Here is why "Meet the Press" isn't worth listening to

From Sunday's edition, in which David Gregory tries, and tries, and tries to get John Boehner to answer the f***ing question at hand, which happens to be an eminently answerable one (do tax cuts pay for themselves). And then stops trying.

MR. GREGORY: ... I'm sorry, you're -- that -- you're not,
you're not being responsive to a specific point, which is how can you be for cutting the deficit and also cutting taxes, as well, when they're not paid for?

REP. BOEHNER: Listen, you can't raise taxes in the middle of a weak economy without risking the double-dip in this recession. President Obama's favorite Republican economist, Mark Zandi, came out several weeks ago and made it clear that raising taxes at this point in, in the economy is a very bad idea.

MR. GREGORY: But do you agree that tax cuts cannot be paid for...

REP. BOEHNER: You cannot balance the budget without a...

MR. GREGORY: But tax cuts are not paid for, is that correct?

REP. BOEHNER: I am not for raising taxes on the American people in a soft economy.

MR. GREGORY: That's not the question, Leader Boehner. The question...

REP. BOEHNER: And the people that the president wants to tax...

MR. GREGORY:, are tax cuts paid for or not?

REP. BOEHNER: Listen, what you're trying to do is get into this Washington game and their funny accounting over there. You cannot get the economy going again by raising taxes on those people who we expect to create jobs in America and to get the economy going again. If we want to solve the budget problem, we've got to have a healthy economy and we have to get our arms around the runaway spending that's going on in Washington, D.C.

MR. GREGORY: I just want to clarify this. I mean, if you -- I'm relying on what Chairman Greenspan said. Maybe -- if you're accusing him of funny Washington games. He says that tax cuts that aren't paid for are not -- they are not cutting the deficit, that they are not actually paid for, it's borrowed money. And so do you believe tax cuts pay for themselves or not?

REP. BOEHNER: I do believe that we've got to get more money in the hands of small businesses and American families to get our economy going again, and the only way to get that economy going again is to do that and to get our arms around the spending.

MR. GREGORY: All right. [Moves on to another topic.]

So why was this exchange even worth HAVING?

August 09, 2010

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August 03, 2010

Ever wonder what the GOP alternative to Obama's tax plan is?

Wonder no more: a new report from Citizens for Tax Justice examines the "Economic Freedom Act," which would add an additional $7 trillion to the national debt over the next decade while managing to give the poorest 80 percent of Americans just 12 percent of the tax cuts in 2012 and thereafter.

Among the plan's notable features:
-complete elimination of the income tax on capital gains;
-estate tax repeal;
-eliminating about 3/4 of the corporate income tax;
-a temporary cut in the payroll tax.

CTJ's report suggests that the bill should instead be referred to as the "Endless Borrowing Act," with cause.

There's no indication, of course, that this bill's going to go anywhere. And it's not even accurate to say that this is "the Republican alternative to Obama's tax plan," since the equally entertaining tax cuts proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan are still out there in the ether somewhere.

But the fact that otherwise responsible lawmakers would introduce this bill without specifying where $7 trillion in spending cuts are going to come from suggests that these guys aren't taking the exercise very seriously.