Bowles Bowled Over

Who says the dems are all dunderheads?

The devil is always in the details. What Simpson/Bowles, the Romney Plan, and Ryan’s Path To Prosperity all have in common is taking on that all too obvious but all to allusive problem of closing tax loopholes. Nobody likes fat cats and hired gun tax accountants affording themselves of the legal system in not paying their fair share, what ever that means.

The NCFRR was a good idea, achieving fiscal sustainability wrt budgetary matters, who could be against that? And much time was spent in choosing the co chairs, both men must be measured, respected, and influential within their respective parties. Too bad the commission was only window dressing.

But Erskine Bowles was, and still is, a man of vision, just not the vision the president shares:

Good thing he is out of politics, as the centurion said two thousand years ago, “No water for him”.

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  1. Kimpost

    Bowles isn’t really in favour of the Romney plan either, unfortunately.

    Raising taxes AND cutting spending seems reasonable, but both parties choose to play politics instead of trying that route.

    This month, Romney said that his tax reform proposal is “very similar to the Simpson-Bowles plan.” How I wish it were. I will be the first to cheer if Romney decides to embrace our plan. Unfortunately, the numbers say otherwise: His reform plan leaves too many tax breaks in place and, as a result, does nothing to reduce the debt.

    The “zero plan” our commission recommended offered both parties an appealing bargain: lower tax rates for everyone in return for sweeping reduction in tax loopholes of every stripe. Taxpayers and the economy would benefit from a vastly simpler tax code, and getting rid of loopholes would produce more than $1 trillion of the $4 trillion needed in deficit reduction. Our commission produced an alternative plan showing how much individual rates would need to go up, and who would have to pay for them, if lawmakers decided to preserve certain tax expenditures.

    The most important lesson Al and I learned on the commission is that to fix the debt, everything must be on the table. Americans everywhere have told us that as long as the sacrifice is shared, they are ready to do their part. The surest way to doom deficit reduction is to play favorites by taking things off the table.

    So although I give Romney credit for pledging to reform the tax code to reduce loopholes, his current proposal will not take us to the promised land. Our commission’s tax plan broadens the base, simplifies the code, reduces tax expenditures and generates $1 trillion for deficit reduction while making the tax code more progressive. The Romney plan, by sticking to revenue-neutrality and leaving in place tax breaks, would raise taxes on the middle class and do nothing to shrink the deficit.

    Obama hasn’t gone as far in cutting spending, particularly in health care, as is necessary to stabilize the debt at a reasonable level and keep it on a downward path as a percentage of the gross domestic product. But in contrast to Romney, the president — like the “Gang of Six” and other like-minded members of both parties — has embraced the central principle of Simpson-Bowles: that America will turn the corner on its debt only if Republicans and Democrats come together to support a balanced deficit-reduction plan. For the numbers to work, both parties need to put aside partisanship.

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  2. richtaylor365 *

    From your link:

    Romney’s tax plan wouldn’t cut the deficit

    It wasn’t intended to, not by itself. The goal was to make it simpler and more fair, and the reductions were intended to get people back to work, to give the actual job creators a brake so they could grow their business and hire more people. More hired people translates in to more tax revenue, more folks actually paying into the system, not removing from it, so the aggregate tax base increases. A combination of a larger tax base and cutting spending, that will reduce the deficit.

    I applauded the president’s insistence on a balanced plan to stabilize the debt

    What a joke, this president has done nothing to lower the debt, but he has increased it by $5 trillion, borrowing 40 cents on the dollar, yep, there is a real belt tightener all right.

    Obama and Romney recognize that debt reduction starts with reducing long-term spending.

    At least one does.

    won’t happen without sweeping tax reform.

    No argument there, tell me, what has this president done in the name of “sweeping tax reform”?

    Americans everywhere have told us that as long as the sacrifice is shared, they are ready to do their part.

    Another no brainer, but here’s the rub, we know the middle class is sharing in that sacrifice since they are already paying 50 cents of every dollar in taxes, we know that the wealthy are sharing since they pay the lion share of all taxes (and at a greater percentage of their actual income then everyone else) but how are the rest suffering? That 50% that pay no taxes at all, where is their sacrifice? They keep getting their meals and the life comped, no sacrifice there that I can see.

    So although I give Romney credit for pledging to reform the tax code to reduce loopholes, his current proposal will not take us to the promised land.

    Fair enough, but at least Romney (and Ryan) understand that; a)we need to get to the promised land, and b) this ain’t it, which is quantum physics compared to Obama’s grasp of the situation.
    As stated in the post, some tweaking in the form of actual deductions eliminated and actual programs defunded or put on a diet, these need to be addressed. But at least now we can have adult conversations about a real problem, a problem that was addressed by Obama in the form of a budget that was defeated 97 to zero, he is clueless but now will be forced, kicking and screaming, to talk about something he would much rather avoid.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    Unless I’ve missed something over the last couple decades, taxes in general have pretty much always gone up. They just find a new place to put the screws to you and pretend that unless it’s payroll taxes they raised, they didn’t raise taxes.

    The other part of the equation is this: why should I be all for increased payroll taxes when the people running the show, on both sides of the aisle, show zero intention of cutting spending? Fuck em with a sharp stick. Giving them more cash to waste on new entitlements and “worthy causes” before they actually show fiscal restraint is not in the cards. All you’re doing is handing them more lube in exchange for a promise to not assfuck you as hard and long this time, and believing them.

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