Monday, April 18, 2011

Fiscal Follies

There has been much caterwauling over $38.5 billion in what big spending liberals call draconian painful budget cuts as the price of a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown.

If spending cuts of $38.5 billion are draconian, what adjectives will be used to describe the targeted $4-6 trillion over 10-12 years as the politicians squabble over the competing Obama-Ryan deficit reduction proposals, not to mention the trillions in borrowing and hundreds of billions paid in interest?  Monstrous?  Unfathomable?  Inconceivable?  Catastrophic?  Gigantic?  Colossal?  Stupendous?  Staggering?  Humongous?  Astronomical?  Galactic?

“Paying Their Fare Share.”  What does it mean for the rich to pay their fair share in taxes?  Is there a once-and-for-all-time definition of “fair share” that does not change every two or four years?  Which tax-rate schedule of the last 90 years best approximates the rich paying their fair share?  President Wilson?  Harding?  Coolidge?  Hoover?  Roosevelt?  Ike?  Kennedy?  Nixon-Ford?  Carter?  Reagan?  Bush 41?  Clinton?  Bush 43?  Obama?  Pick one and justify that choice?

Over the last 20 years, President Clinton’s years look the best for growth (annual average 3.3% real growth 1992-2000), employment, and deficit reduction.  Does that make the Clinton tax rates the presumptive first choice?  If the Bush tax cuts were necessary to spark growth (2.2% annual average real growth 2001-08), why did the economy’s performance under his watch lag the Clinton years?  How were Clinton’s surpluses transformed into Bush’s deficits and debt?

Just asking...

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