Peter Roskam on Fox Chicago Sunday

Peter Roskam is the Republican Chief Deputy Whip in the U.S. House, the congressman from the Illinois 6th Congressional district, and one of my favorite U.S. politicians.  Here’s him doing a segment on Fox Chicago Sunday about the deficit reduction proposal from the Debt Commission:

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  • Broc

    I see one big problem with the Bush tax cuts that Peter is looking to support. Keeping the Bush tax cuts in place is not new, the economy and job market took a nose dive WITH those tax cuts. The Bush tax cuts also have not created the enviroment of job growth in the last 10 years. Average salaries for low and middle class jobs went down during the time of the bush tax cuts. How does that saying go….Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. For me the question is; will allowing the bust tax cuts to expire for the rich ($250,000 or set it higher at $500,000), Will allowing those bush tax cuts to expire significantly hurt the job growth enough to justify the big budget deficit it will create? These tax cuts are something something new, it is not a change, like I see so many Republicains tring to frame them as. Implying well if we only get these tax cuts for rich people then jobs will really get booming. They have been in place and jobs arent booming.

    • Bob

      A couple of points:
      1. You can’t say that the lull in economic growth over the past 3 years has been as a result of the tax cuts.
      2. I think you can say that allowing a tax increase would be detrimental to the country’s economy, and I think both Democrats and Republican’s agree on that. That’s why there’s really no argument over keeping taxes at the same rate for incomes under $250K.
      3. Since rich people are the largest demographic of people that actually create jobs, I think that we could safely say that keeping taxes low on them would allow for the creation of jobs. At least, it’s more likely that rich people will create meaningful jobs than the government would with the same money.
      4. Implying that “if we only get these tax cuts for rich peple then jobs will really get booming” isn’t the point; the point is “if we raise taxes on rich people, then jobs will GO AWAY, because they will no longer be able to afford those extra jobs that they were using that money for.” If rich people have to give more money to the government, they can no longer afford to pay for the college graduate they hired in June to help with marketing. Raising taxes in a sluggish economy only pours gasoline on what could be the beginning of a double-dip recession.

  • Broc

    Under which tax plan was the nations economy better off, Clinton or Bush?

    I agree that raising taxes on the lower and middle class would be detrimental to the country’s economy because they drive demand, which creates business. Many reports have come out that business have plent of capital to spend, but are not spending it. Now whether that is due to the tax rate I can not say. I do know Obama has done plenty of tax cuts. The stimulas bill was the single biggest tax cut in history. Bush tax cuts while in thoery might work, business’ want to make money first, not hire people. If they choose to sit on the capital they gain, as they have been, the bush tax cuts will continue to be a failure.

    Due to the national deficit the government will need to create more revenue, we wont be able to cut enough spending to balance the budget without significant pains on benefits. Republicains ran on deficit and balancing the budget….both sides did really. Now Repub’s want massive cuts in spending to try and achieve balance while Dem’s seek to create more revenue and (taxes). Now we seem to be getting a tax plan that does neither; it doesnt decrease spending with the possible extension to Unemployment Benefits, and it wont create more revenue b/c it looks like all the bush tax cuts will be extended for 2 years. (BTW in 2 years does anyone see how they will have more politcal power to stop this taxes from being extended perminatly). MEANWHILE all this tax talk has delayed other issues like DADT, Dream Act and Stark Treaty b/c the party of NO wont play ball unless rich people keep 4.5%.

    Obama may be right just to give in to these tax rates, even though he disagrees fundamentally with them, b/c there are so many other things to do…..but that reminds me of the saying “If you give a mouse a cookie…….”

    • Bob

      1. “Business’ want to make money first, not hire people” – not necessarily. A business will take on the risk of hiring an individual without having the money to pay for them if they are relatively certain that that person will increase their revenues more than if they hadn’t hired that person. The reason that businesses are keeping their capital in reserve could be due to this tax bill… there’s the possibility that they might have to pay more in taxes in the coming years (in higher taxes, in higher benefits costs, etc), and that is a legitimate argument to make. If a business is expecting to pay taxes at a higher rate in 2011, they are wise to hold money in reserve.
      2. “The stimulas bill was the single biggest tax cut in history” – I don’t think you can legitimately call the stimulus bill a tax cut. It was more redistributive than a tax cut. And, really, it’s a stark example of how government distributing money to stimulate the economy is much worse than when businesses distribute money to stimulate the economy (a tax cut vs. direct government investment). Government spending only takes money from one sector of the economy and puts it in another. Tax cuts put money back into EVERY sector of the economy.
      3. “We wont be able to cut enough spending to balance the budget without significant pains on benefits” – this point is debatable. In the 1990s (with a Democratic president and a Republican Congress), the federal government was able to balance the federal budget, and it didn’t seem so painful. Does this mean that the tax rates under Clinton were more advantageous? Perhaps. But the premise of that argument is that the U.S. needs all of the spending that was in place under Clinton. Could we also balance the budget under the current (2010) tax rates? I think so.
      4. “MEANWHILE all this tax talk has delayed other issues” – I agree, but I don’t know that there’s more urgency to the other issues that you mentioned than to this one. By the way, I wrote a post on the DREAM Act, and you should read it: http://bobewoldt.com/2010/11/19/dream/. I would be interested to hear your reasoning as to why these are more important for Congress to work on in the lame duck session than the tax bill.
      5. “Under which tax plan was the nations economy better off, Clinton or Bush?” – It’s hard to say, really. Both presidents saw periods of significant growth (Clinton for 8 years and Bush for 5 years), which is typical of economic activity (the average growth period is 7 years). But both had significant downturns at the end of their presidencies (the end of the Clinton administration saw the dot-com bust, and of course we know what happened at the end of Bush’s administration). Under Clinton, the annual increase in jobs was 2.8 million; during Bush’s 5 years of economic growth, the economy saw a 2 million job increase each year. Clinton signed the largest capital gains tax cut in history; he signed a huge tax cut for elderly people (this is just in case you’re going to argue that Clinton pursued a different tax approach than Bush). I fully expect the same thing to happen under Obama: the economy has contracted, as it does, and now it will grow for the next 4-9 years. The question is how fast it will grow.

      The fundamental question is… should we expect the government to create jobs, or should we expect the private sector to create jobs? Ultimately, while the government can create some jobs over the short-term, the private sector must create the majority of jobs (otherwise you create a downward spiral of taxing and job creation that leads to what we saw in Russia under communism). Then the question is, how do you stimulate the private sector to create jobs? Take a look at Greg Mankiw’s post about spending and tax multipliers (he’s a professor of economics at Harvard) – http://gregmankiw.blogspot.com/2008/12/spending-and-tax-multipliers.html. He states that government spending increases national GDP by a factor of 1.4, whereas cutting taxes increases GDP by a multiplier of 3.

  • Broc

    “You can’t say that the lull in economic growth over the past 3 years has been as a result of the tax cuts.”

    Sorry I typed that poorly, No the bush tax cuts did not cause the down turn. I meant even with the bush tax cuts the recovery has been so slow in jobs coming back. What makes you think that the bush tax cuts are being successfully?

    • Broc

      I love your endless optimism when speaking of the bush tax cuts, however I disagree that it is not seated in fact, but rather hope. By Bush tax cuts logic if we want to spur on further job growth we should just keep making cuts, 30%, 20%, nothing. I know I took it to any extreme, however the logic of the statement is true.

      I also believe that your thoery of why business arent hiring may be true, but it also might be true that business just want resolution and finality, they will adapt to whatever tax rate is imposed. I dont think american businesses are sitting on hunderds of billions are dollars b/c they are scared of a 4.5% tax increase. I believe there are more afriad of the unknown and the fact it is not resolved.

      While you may not have agreed with the stimulus bill on principal, it was the republican party that demanded the huge tax cut portion of the stimulus bill, its fact it was a tax cut. There have been many studies done on the effectiviness of stimulus money and where you see greatest returns on investments. One of the highest time an time again is Welfare and food stamp programs because that money is spent quickly by those recieving it which drives demand and increases business.

      “In the 1990s (with a Democratic president and a Republican Congress), the federal government was able to balance the federal budget, and it didn’t seem so painful.”

      One huge problem with that is the baby boomers and the exploding burden it is placing on ALL programs it is not the same situation as 20 years ago. We can NOT cut benefits on those seniors now…perhaps the benefits issue can be change for 30 or 40 years down the road so people konw they have to save more and not rely on those programs but we can not pull the rug out from those people now. Since you cant cut that spending you will need to balance that spending somehow

      “I would be interested to hear your reasoning as to why these are more important for Congress to work on in the lame duck session than the tax bill.”

      Never said it was more important, only stated to be working one issue at the cost of others when other work could be getting done is a waste and terrible for those americans it will affect b/c the republicans are play politics with policy (In this case it is the Repubs, Dem’s do it far to often as well)

      P.S. Love debating the issues with a republican who is not crazy.

      • Broc

        Also the 9/11 responder bill which the daily show did a great bit on.

        http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-december-13-2010/lame-as-f–k-congress

      • Bob

        I don’t think that taxes should be decreased to nothing; I agree with you that that would be stupid (and irresponsible). I think that cutting taxes on business can generate additional revenue to the government (because increased economic productivity leads to more tax revenue), but there’s a limit to that. There’s a point at which lowering taxes is no longer a viable solution. I think probably the ideal rates are 15% (for lower income), 25% (for mid-income) and 30% (for upper income). I also believe that raising taxes can generate more revenue, but there’s also a point at which this doesn’t work any more (think about the 90% taxes that were in place for the wealthy in the 1940s and 1950s). I’ve seen evidence to show that, no matter what tax rates are at, there’s only so much of GDP that will be raised through taxation (check out links here and here).

        “They will adapt to whatever tax rate is imposed” – I totally agree with you on this one; businesses will adapt to the tax rates that are imposed. However, the WAY that they adapt is what you have to deal with. History has shown that business is only willing to submit to taxes up to a certain rate. After taxes reach that point, those that are able employ lawyers and lobbyists to legally evade additional taxes, they offshore resources, and they refuse to repatriate capital from overseas, because they would have to pay taxes on it. Companies keep their money overseas, and invest overseas, because it’s expensive to bring money back to the United States. They employ workers overseas instead of in the United States because it’s more expensive to employ them here. In my view, higher taxes forces the companies that can to work somewhere else, instead of the United States, which stunts the growth of the U.S. economy.

        Really, larger companies have the ability to escape higher tax rates, while smaller businesses don’t. So, when you raise taxes, you’re hurting the smaller companies, not the bigger ones.

        I agree with you that there are businesses that are hoarding billions of dollars not because they’re afraid of the 4.5% increase, but for other business reasons. But, in a smaller company, they are sitting on hundreds of thousands of dollars (not billions) because they ARE afraid of this 4.5% increase. You’re talking about the huge businesses that likely won’t pay the 4.5% increase anyways (because of their lawyers and overseas operations); I’m talking about the small-to-medium sized business that will be the most affected by this increase. And I can tell you that, if you work for a company that employs between 20 and 50 employees, this WILL affect the employment at that company.

        I agree with you in your paragraph about not changing benefits in Social Security now… it can’t be done now. I don’t think that that means that we can’t balance the budget in the next five years, and make a balanced budget a way of life for the federal government. Things that I think need to be done to ensure a balanced budget: healthcare reform (because the “reform” that we have now is just a boondoggle for the insurance industry) including tax deductibility for individuals (as well as employers) and portability and competitiveness, Social Security reform (for people under 55 that includes cutting benefits and some privatization), and a simplified tax code (one that gets rid of a bunch of the deductions and puts a flat rate tax on income at 2 or 3 different rates, and eliminates capital gains and dividend interest taxes to promote savings and investment, and significantly lowers the corporate income tax). I also think that comprehensive immigration reform (including better criteria for who gets in, to make it easier) would also help, not only those who would come here for a better life (i.e. the DREAM Act), but would also increase tax revenues for those that are working here legitimately. What do you think?

        • Broc

          “There’s a point at which lowering taxes is no longer a viable solution…” “I also believe that raising taxes can generate more revenue, but there’s also a point at which this doesn’t work any more….” “After taxes reach that point, those that are able employ lawyers and lobbyists to legally evade additional taxes, they offshore resources, and they refuse to repatriate capital from overseas, because they would have to pay taxes on it….”

          I guess my questoin to you then would be do you feel that 36% is not past the tipping point but 39.5% is past that tipping point? It would seem that even if all the tax cuts get extended (which would add hundreds of BILLIONS to the deficit), you would still be look to cut taxes even further consider your ideal tax rate would be 30% for the rich. Bottom line, 36% isnt that far from 39.5%. So if the republicains will play obstructionist until they get thier way on the tax cuts for the rich we have to give it to them as a compromise. I don’t agree with 36% but its not a make it break it for me. There are other fish to fry beside the tax rate…besides more imporantly neither 39.5% or 36% is going to balance the budget.

          “I’m talking about the small-to-medium sized business that will be the most affected by this increase. ”

          I have wanted the cut line to be increase to $400,000 or $500,000 since the beginning however it never really gained much traction in congress so i figured it was a dead idea, but in my own vision i would want that tax line push higher up the payroll chain.

          “In my view, higher taxes forces the companies that can to work somewhere else, instead of the United States”

          Companies have been shipping jobs overseas leaves the US for many reasons other than the tax rate, that sound more like policitcal threate than anything else. Labor costs, labor regulations, daily cost of business, the list can go on and on. Business arent going to spend the massive amount of capital needed to move operations overseas due soley to a 4.5% tax increase. Also in turn you want be able to convince business, who have decided to leave, to stay solely with a 4.5% tax cut. I will say again the Bush tax cuts have been in place for close to a decade and for years after the economic collape; it has FAILED to provide the job creation you are talking about now. If it hasnt done it at this point why would things get better now, it wont get better. I know you think allowing to them to expire will make things worse. I think the worst thing we can do is nothing, make things uncertain, provide a solid ground whatever it may be.

          I read those two links, the second one is interesting because it published in 1996 doesnt break down the Bush tax cuts we are talking about or discuss the Clinton year booming success or the fact that when clinton left office the buget was balanced with a surplus with a 39.5% tax rate. I suppose b/c that had not happened yet so they are off the hook for that last one. Sourcewatch.org describes the heritage foundation as follows

          ” The Heritage Foundation is a New Right think tank. Its stated mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

          Not exactly a non-bais organization to get facts from.

          Looked them up on factcheck as well.

          http://www.factcheck.org/elections-2008/mudslinging_in_mississippi.html -Under Social Security Scam

          http://factcheck.org/2010/05/did-ed-case-kill-3000-hawaii-jobs-no/ – Heritage Foundation claims

          http://www.factcheck.org/2009/04/cost-of-illegal-immigrants/

          http://www.factcheck.org/askfactcheck/do_auto_workers_really_make_more_than.html

          http://www.factcheck.org/2010/07/hayworths-misleading-attack-on-immigration/

          http://www.factcheck.org/defending_spending_bushs_blooper.html
          Good last note for Heritage foundation against Bush’s insane spending.

          Quickly try and wrap up other stuff……Social security age I would want to go even lower for the change age maybe 40-45 for me. Tax law……if you can get congress to unscramble it more power to ya!!!!!!!!! Any real immigration reform has to start with one step SECURE THE BORDER! Others, I like the idea of a soda tax, increase tobacco tax, and legalize marijuana so we can tax the @*%^#)! out of it.

          • Bob

            “Do you feel that 36% is not past the tipping point but 39.5% is past that tipping point?” No, I don’t think that either is “past the tipping point,” but raising taxes to 39.5% is going in the wrong direction (given my preference for a 30% top rate). Businesses will adjust (as you say), but 4.5% DOES make a difference in a business. 4.5% is the difference between success and failure; it’s the difference sometimes between making a profit, and going under. 4.5% is NOT meaningless. Especially in industries like retail and food.

            “Business arent going to spend the massive amount of capital needed to move operations overseas due soley to a 4.5% tax increase.” Perhaps not. But think of a company like Chevron that invests $20B every year. 4.5% is $900M. Do you think that Chevron is going to make a decision to invest that $20B in the U.S. or overseas based upon the 4.5% extra that they’ll be making? Absolutely! A smaller company may not make the decision to move operations overseas, but if the company makes a profit of $300K per year and gets taxed an extra 4.5%, they will have to pay $13,500 more, and may choose not to give their employees free health insurance. This is REAL money.

            “Not exactly a non-biased organization to get facts from.” There’s no such thing as a non-biased or non-partisan organization. Those that tell you that they’re non-biased are lying or naive. When I read something from Heritage, I know that they’re for free enterprise, limited government, etc. And FactCheck didn’t seem to think that they’re a bad organization, either. I read through all of the links you sent, and FactCheck never disputed the data or analysis from Heritage. Their argument with Heritage seemed to fall into one of two catagories: (1) a politician misusing Heritage’s data (or using something from the 1990s that’s no longer pertinent); or (2) the presentation of the data (a sematic disagreement, as in the last link).

            Also, SourceWatch says that Heritage is “widely considered one of the world’s most influential public policy research institutes,” which means that they at least do their homework. SourceWatch itself is suspect to a certain extent, because it’s a project of The Center for Media and Democracy, a progressive (read liberal) watchdog group, started by a democratic activist. But, I suppose, if you’re a Democrat, you trust Democratic sources, and if you’re a Republican, you trust Republican sources.

            By the way, I usually like Jon Stewart, but that 9/11 first responder bill report was way below the belt. An ad hominem attack to the core, and distasteful. Its basic argument was, “Screw Republicans!” What kind of argument is that? It’s fine to say that Congress should be acting on the 9/11 first responders bill, but why? Stewart gave no reason why the bill should be passed. Perhaps there’s overwhelming evidence that the bill should be passed, but he gave none. Perhaps there’s a legitimate argument against the bill, but he didn’t present that, either. What if I introduced a bill that would give free healthcare for life for the 9/11 first responders. Would that be a good idea? What if I introduced a bill that would give them a free puppy? Would that be a good idea just because their 9/11 first reponders? C’mon!

          • Broc

            If 39.5% is going to the wrong direction and 4.5% does make a huge difference how do you explain the widely accepted success of the Clinton years? Yes 4.5% counts and its real money, I agree that 39.5% could adversely affect some small businesses which again is why the cut line should be raised to $400,000-$500,000.
            If you and I could fine a compromise that make sense maybe there would be hope for congress…LOL!

            There’s no such thing as a non-biased or non-partisan organization. Those that tell you that they’re non-biased are lying or naive. I could not disagree more. I am neither Republican’t or Demo-rat, I am a registered Independent. I believe that their are others out there willing to put fourth the truth not policitcaly slant facts. That is a problem with so much information out there, if people want to you can find numbers or stats or “facts” that agree with your view…..ahhh….work….to be cont……..

          • Bob

            Biased doesn’t mean un-truthful. I agree that there are people out there that are dedicated to the truth. I don’t think that to be politically biased is at odds with being dedicated to the truth. I guess my point is that everyone has a bias, whether they call themselves non-partisan or non-political. In order to be truly non-partisan or non-political, you can’t be involved, and I don’t think that’s good. Any argument that’s made in this arena has a bias of some kind (and some kind of worldview that informs that bias). At least Heritage is up-front about the foundation of their views, unlike other organizations.

          • Bob

            By the way, in my own defense (if a defense is needed), I am not a registered Republican (I used to be, but am not any more), though I tend to agree with the Republicans more than I do the Democrats. I try to view politics through the scope of the Bible, which is why I disagree with many of the Republicans on things like the DREAM Act.

          • Broc

            No you dont need a defense for being a republican, if you were to be one, though you might need to drop a few IQ points…i kid.

            I think we have a philisophical difference in definition of bias, no i agree you can push for a issue or topic however when I state bias it means to me; purposefully and willing mislead for the furthering of your cause. If you need to misrepresent the truth about your side of a issue….you should rethink what side of the issue you are on.

            “Stewart gave no reason why the bill should be passed. Perhaps there’s overwhelming evidence that the bill should be passed, but he gave none. Perhaps there’s a legitimate argument against the bill.”

            Actually he laid out the case for it quite clearly…..its a bill for 9/11 first responders! To help with the medical illiness they got as a direct result of for weeks digging in rubble and breathing toxic air looking for possible survivors and human remains, in hopes of giving those families closure in be abling to grieve over the body of thier loved ones. What other reasons do you need? In response to your bill, if you wanted to present a bill that would give lifetime health insurance for 9/11 repsonders for the illiness they got in the aftermath of 9/11. Then YES! vote for it and support the brave men and women who put themselves through hell. We may never thank them enough!

          • Broc

            http://cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/12/15/ac.omnibus.bill.earmarks.cnn

            I was watching this clip about earmarks, when I had a random thought:
            When was the last time one party had control of of the house, senate and white house and there was a balanced budget?

            Not G. W. Bush he exploded the deficit, not Clinton control of congress was republican . Not G. Bush. Back to Regan, nope power was split..so on. Maybe its only coincidence, but I thought it was interesting.

          • Bob

            I agree with your thought here… from recent experience, the best setup for the federal government is to have a Congress of one party, and a president of the other. That way they check one another.

            It seems someone knew what they were doing when they set up our government to have checks and balances :)

          • Broc

            If you don’t already watch the CNN show Parker/Spitzer I highly recommend it. Great debate and centers on economics. To give you a taste here is a clip from last night’s show, made me think about some things.

            http://cnn.com/video/?/video/us/2010/12/15/ps.ceos.jobs.motorola.cnn

          • Bob

            I, too, enjoyed the clip. It seems like Elliot Spitzer was saying that, because 65% of Motorola Solution’s revenue comes from the government, and the government spends stimulus money, Motorola’s revenue would go down if the government did not have more stimulus money to spend, and they would have to lay off workers. This argument is based upon a couple of false premises, namely that (1) there would be less money spent on the services that Motorola provides if the government doesn’t spend it, and (2) that Motorola would not successfully adjust its business model away from the public sector as the public sector spends less money.

          • Bob

            I love to see 2 really smart people debating an issue from two different perspectives. It was a really good clip.

          • Broc

            I think Spitzer was trying to emphasize the great benefit that stimulus money provided to Motorola; allowing it to progress in the areas he listed, and how those jobs may not be there today if not for federal dollars. Also while Motorola may lean away from the public sector if spending decreases there is no guarantee they would find the same level of demand in the private sector for their product.

            But, one thing it made me think of was with the looming extension of unemployment benefits (needed I know, many people are hurting), Corporation’s bottom lines are doing really well (I thought it was billions not in the trillions). Why not have a $1,000,000 tax cut line or something to help balance the budget and pay for the spending congress is about to approve. That way small business is safe from a tax hike. Of course the obvious other side to that is business are doing well right now, leave them alone, balanced the budget later. Only they government never seems to get to step 2 of actually balancing the budget.

            Yes Parker/Spitzer is a great show for debate on economics, and yes Spitzer does lean to the left in ideology, however they almost always have a balanced dicussion with great guest. There are times when Spitzer hops up on his soap box for a rant, but Parker usually riegns him back down to earth.

          • Bob

            This is the classic conservative/liberal question: do we increase taxes to balance the budget, or do we cut spending? Why should we raise taxes on anyone, when we could have a smaller government? Why do we have to be content with the large size of government the way it is now? Why don’t we say, “Yes, it will mean some tough decisions, but government shouldn’t be larger than x% of GDP, so let’s cut some sacred cows out”? Why should corporations’ bottom lines decide whether or not we tax them? Why is it OK to tax large businesses but not small ones? Is it better to tax retirees that have their money in mutual funds than it is to tax small businesses?

          • Broc

            The reason to raise taxes is because it is generally accepted you can’t balance the budget right without radical cuts. So, since you cant cut enough spending right now with creating other significant problems for people who currently depend of those programs (social security, medicaid, medicare, welfare, etc.); increasing taxes (if we desire to balance the budget), is the way do that. But if our goal, right now, is not to balance the budget, which it hasnt been for a decade now, then nevermind, just skip down to the next paragraph…lol

            So why tax the rich individual or corperation? Frankly, they can afford it…….lol, I know that sounds so left wing, but its the truth. Now we can go back and fourth on whether that is “fair” , socialist, unamerican, anit-free market…blah blah blan, but the bottom line is they can afford it, while other lower income bracket people can’t without significant impact.

            You seem to feel our government is too big? Where do you feel the government should take a step back? Where is federal regulation unnecessary, in your opinion?

          • Bob

            There are probably a hundred small areas that can be cut significantly from the federal government budget (unnecessary regulation is a different conversation), but you’re not going to close the budget gap merely by cutting from pieces of the budget that make up less than 25% of the budget (HHS, Education, Transportation, Energy, Agriculture, etc.). We’re only going to balance the budget if we reform the major portions of the budget–Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Health Care.

            This reform might not have immediate impact “right now,” but it’s the way that you ensure the long-term viability of the United States as a competitive force in the world. I think that we can tolerate a deficit for the next few years while we right the budget, instead of punishing our economy for the wrongs of stupid politicians who can’t say “No” (especially if the punishment–raising taxes–is hard to reverse once it’s put into place).

            The Republican House Budget Committee chairman has put forth a plan that would reform all the above-mentioned programs, and this plan has been scored by the Congressional Budget Office (see the CBO review here) and has been found not only to eliminate the deficit in a few years, but also to eliminate the national debt, which is also one of the biggest things that we can do as a country to stimulate the economy and still do something with the federal budget (we spent $164 billion on interest in 2010).

          • Broc

            I agree that cutting in those major areas is a must, and I agree it wont be possible for year down the road. Changes to entitlement programs have to come with plenty of time for the public to adjust. If the changes were going to be adopted now, I believe the cut off should be around 4o-45 years of age.

            “it’s the way that you ensure the long-term viability of the United States as a competitive force in the world. ”

            There are a few areas in which I dont agree with cuts in spending one of them is Education. Now I agree that a reorganization or “shake up” on HOW we are spending our money but America is falling behind other industrialized nations at a significant rate. Not sure if you follow Michelle Rhee but she has does some great things with the school system in Washington DC.

            How does the CBO report put out by the Rupublicans differ from the report put out by the Debt commission a month ago. I didnt read that 50 page report sorry. The report put out by the debt commission a month ago was rejected by both sides b/c it called for an increase in taxes and deep cuts to spending…basically making neither political party happy.

  • Broc