Economy & Budget

A tax reform too good to pass up

The proposal by the Gang of Six makes many important contributions to the ongoing discussions about how to fix the budget situation, starting with the fact that they have demonstrated that there is broad, bipartisan support for a serious, comprehensive plan to deal with our nation’s debt. But perhaps the most significant contribution is their tax reform plan, which is breathtaking in its boldness and has the potential to unleash significant economic growth. 

If we created a government commission to design a tax code which maximized complexity, compliance costs, unfairness, anti-competitiveness, and economic distortion, we couldn’t do much better than our current code.


Cut, cap, and balance: the ‘balanced approach’ the President requested 

Washington must start spending less and stop spending money we don’t have. We are $14 trillion dollars in the hole -— with $3.7 trillion added to the national debt just since President Obama took office. To put this in perspective: it took the U.S. from 1776 until 1992 (216 years) to accrue the same amount of debt that the president accumulated in two in a half years. At this rate, we are on the fast track to fiscal calamity.

With unemployment at 9.2 percent, we must enact a plan that will bring confidence and certainty to America’s best job creators -— small businesses -— without raising taxes as Democrats have demanded. We all agree that we must pay our bills, but raising taxes in order to sustain Washington’s largesse is not the answer; real and significant spending cuts are. The Cut, Cap and Balance Act would provide them.


Raising the debt ceiling should be an exception, not the accepted norm

It took forty-one Presidents and 216 years for the United States to accumulate our first $3.7 trillion in national debt. It took President Obama less than two and a half years to accumulate the same amount of debt. Even more astounding is that under the President’s 2012 budget proposal, the federal debt would increase from approximately $10 trillion on the day he was inaugurated to $20 trillion by the end of his potential second term. These debt numbers are staggering, which is why the debt ceiling debate currently going on is so important.


House of Representatives should oppose “Cut, Cap and Balance Act” that should be named “Slash, Burn, and Wreck Act”

A letter from the Strengthen Social Security Campaign to the members of the House of Representatives.

Dear Representative,

We write to oppose both “The Cut, Cap, and Balance Act of 2011” and any Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) proposals, on behalf of the Strengthen Social Security Campaign, which is comprised of 320 organizations representing more than 50 million members from many of the nation’s leading aging, labor, disability, women’s, children, consumer, civil rights and equality organizations.


Balanced Budget Amendment is a backward step

Today the House will consider legislation that would force the nation to default on our financial obligations for the first time in history unless Congress adopts a radical new constitutional amendment.

That amendment would impose arbitrary, reckless budget caps that would – without a doubt – force massive cuts to Medicare, Social Security and other crucial benefits. At the same time, it would constitutionally protect wasteful loopholes and tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires.

To meet an arbitrary spending cap frozen at 18 percent of Gross Domestic Product, it would shrink benefits and services back to levels not seen since 1966. In 1966, Medicare was one year old and there were 100 million fewer people in this country.


Americans want us to cut, cap and balance

Today, members of the House of Representative will have a chance to stand up and be counted. They’ll show with their votes whether they believe in freezing Washington’s current spending habits in place, and raising job-killing taxes. Or whether they believe, as I do, that the reckless spending and debt of the past two years has brought us to the point of crisis, and that something serious must be done to rein it without damaging a fragile economy with job-killing taxes. It’s that simple.


Stop playing politics on cut, cap and balance

For too long, leaders on both sides of the aisle have allowed spending to run rampant in the nation’s capital. As a result, the national debt has soared above an unprecedented 14 trillion dollars, we are borrowing roughly 40 cents of every dollar, and our country’s credit rating is at risk.
America is at an impasse, and it’s time for Washington to do what is right.


Default: A plague that will haunt our nation for years

Nevada Senator Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Senate Democrats' meeting last week with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner:

Senate Democrats sat down with Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, and he painted a picture of what our world will look like if Republicans in Congress force this nation for the first time in its history to default on its financial obligations.

The picture was grim. This is how he described the state of our government if Congress allows this unprecedented default: "lights out."

He said default would result in a complete "loss of capacity to function as a government."


Debt ceiling drama

The debt ceiling debate is providing plenty of opportunity for political theater in Washington. Proponents of raising the debt ceiling are throwing around the usual scare tactics and misinformation in order to intimidate opponents into accepting more debt and taxes. It is important to distinguish the truth from the propaganda.

First of all, politicians need to understand that without real change default is inevitable. In fact, default happens every day through monetary policy tricks. Every time the Federal Reserve engages in more quantitative easing and devalues the dollar, it is defaulting on the American people by eroding their purchasing power and inflating their savings away. The dollar has lost nearly 50 percent of its value against gold since 2008. 


Time to Cut, Cap and Balance the books

U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement on the Senate floor Monday regarding the need to pass legislation that would cut government spending now, cap it in the future and approve a constitutional amendment to balance the federal budget:

This is a pivotal week for America.

Two years of reckless spending and debt have brought us to the point of crisis. And this week, Americans will see how their elected representatives decide to resolve it.

On the one side are those who believe that failing to rein in spending now could be calamitous, and that a government which borrows 42 cents for every dollar it spends needs to sober up. Washington needs strong medicine to heal its spending addiction now, not a false promise of it later.

And on the other side are those who want to pretend the status quo is acceptable — that everything will be fine if we freeze current habits in place, raise job-killing taxes on small businesses, and do nothing about the long term fiscal imbalance that imperils our economy.