Tax Reform If You Want Bush Tax Cuts (Says the Left)

Ezra Klein calls it "how the Bush tax cuts could sabotage tax reform" as if such a thing as tax reform exists via WaPo:

If you're confused by the discussion over the Bush tax cuts, Derek Thompson has a nice primer. I'm not convinced by his conclusion, though. Thompson comes down on the side of extending the tax cuts while working on comprehensive tax reform. I don't, as I don't see any reason to believe that extending them will make comprehensive tax reform more, rather than less, likely.

Right now, taxes are at unsustainably low levels. Reform will have to get them somewhat higher. But if we end up asking Congress to choose between the current tax code with the Bush tax cuts and a reformed tax code without them, the latter will look like a huge tax hike. That'll make reform more difficult to pass, or it'll force us to pass a reform that doesn't raise any more money than the tax code with the Bush tax cuts.

David Stockman has at it in NYT:

If there were such a thing as Chapter 11 for politicians, the Republican push to extend the unaffordable Bush tax cuts would amount to a bankruptcy filing. The nation’s public debt — if honestly reckoned to include municipal bonds and the $7 trillion of new deficits baked into the cake through 2015 — will soon reach $18 trillion. That’s a Greece-scale 120 percent of gross domestic product, and fairly screams out for austerity and sacrifice. It is therefore unseemly for the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, to insist that the nation’s wealthiest taxpayers be spared even a three-percentage-point rate increase.

They only believe the stimulative argument works when you create new money, not preserve the money that has already been made. That is for distribution. Duh.

I'm of the thought that every American is going to come out of this a little sore in the 1040 ifyoufeelme, not just the rich. 

Jr Deputy Accountant

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.