Right after the now-infamous debate (or, exchange of sounds bites), I wrote a bit about the fallacy of the exchange on taxes. Just a quick clean up here to underscore an important point — both candidates support, in one form or another, extending some or all of the Bush tax cuts. And that is sheer lunacy.
My favorite source for accurate tax information, Citizens for Tax Justice, observes:
It’s important to note that while Romney’s tax plan is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, Obama himself is proposing to extend most of the Bush tax cuts, at a cost of $4.2 trillion over the next ten years. The President assured the audience that he wants to “continue the tax rates – the tax cuts that we put into place for small businesses and families. But,” he continued, “for incomes over $250,000 a year that we should go back to the rates that we had when Bill Clinton was president,” that is, the pre-Bush tax cuts rate.
CTJ has analyzed Obama’s plan and found that extending 78 percent of the Bush tax cuts will lose far too much revenue in the long run. The President’s plan would extend the tax cuts for the first $250,000 a married couple makes. We also found that married couples making between $250,000 and $300,000 would still continue to enjoy, on average, 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts. Fewer than two percent of taxpayers would lose any part of the Bush tax cuts under Obama’s plan, so it’s hardly a bold proposal for reducing the deficit and restoring urgently needed revenues.
As readers know, I do not share the idiotic obsession with the phony “crisis” around the debt or deficit. But, there is no reason to be shoveling money out the door in the form of tax cuts when we should be spending even more money on infrastructure, education, alternative energy and a whole host of long-term investments in the economy.
But, fair is fair. To paraphrase Bill Maher, while the Romney tax cut proposal is insane, the president’s proposal is, at best, lame and unwise.