Playing chicken with the debt – letter to the editor

While we need to deal with our debt in a holistic fashion, playing chicken with the debt ceiling gives the illusion of good governance, but is rushed. For example, one of provisions of the Republican bill on the debt ceiling would increase the debt by $120 billion. From an article called “GOP’s cut to IRS funding in debt limit plan would backfire” by Brian Faler of Politico:

“Republicans’ proposal to rescind $71 billion in IRS funding pushed through by Democrats last year would cut projected tax receipts by $191 billion over the next decade, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates. The result: The government would find itself an additional $120 billion in the hole.”

This provision is designed to help aggressive taxpayers who benefit greatly from their efforts to mask income. So, it runs counter to the goal of reducing the debt while helping the wealthy.


9 thoughts on “Playing chicken with the debt – letter to the editor

  1. As the Republicans are mostly composed of the rich, of course, they want to pass the tax cut aws that would, benefit themselves. And, this would be a, master plan, for the wealthy to pay, even less, taxes, and putting the country in, even, deeper, debt.

    • Many thanks. What troubles me about this rushed exercise, is when the Republicans led both chambers in Congress and had Trump in the White House, not only did they not reduce the debt, they increased it with tax legislation by about $2 trillion. The tax cut largely benefited the wealthy and corporations. That does not count other actions that also increase the debt. Democrats need to do more, but history reveals they are better at dealing with the debt than Republicans.

      Anyone who doubts this need only to look at George W. Bush unbalancing a surplus budget provided by Bill Clinton with a tax cut his own Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill said was not needed. Bush fired O’Neill for daring to disagree with him. Keith

  2. Note to Readers: Back when the debt was $8 trillion, the bipartisan Simpson Bowles Deficit Reduction Committee recommended $2 of spending cuts for every $1 tax increases. Democrats did not like the cuts and Republicans did not like the tax increases. So, while the committee approved the recommendations, the report was shelved by President Obama, who set the committee in motion.

    Now, the debt is $30 trillion and has been made worse by the Republican passed tax cut of 2018 and the various Pandemic relief efforts of both parties. We must do both tax increases and spending cuts – the math will not otherwise work. Do not let any politician tell you otherwise, as they are wrong so says the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget.

  3. While I do understand that we need to curtail some spending, I don’t think McCarthy and the Republicans are going about it in the right way. First, holding the nation hostage in the debt ceiling debate is clearly not the best way. But also, they want to cut the programs that help people, while increasing benefits to those who don’t need any help. Cut the IRS staffing so that the past several years’ returns of wealthy corporations won’t be audited … what sense does that make? But … we already know that good governance and the best interest of the country have little to no meaning for the current Republican Party, but only increasing their own power and wealth matter to them. Excellent letter, as always, by the way! Thanks, Keith!

  4. Responsible Taxation is part of the Life Blood of a civilised nation.
    In its heyday of the 1970s the UK Taxation system was the most effective in the Western World a £ collected cost 3p. That’s 3%. That was achieved by a well staffed, system with offices across the UK, and based on the UK Civil Service systems.
    Then Thatcher’s govt came in and tried to run the system as if it were a commercial corporation, lowered the top rates of rate and reduced the allowances to the less well off, they also attempted to make unemployment benefits taxable, using a system that no one within either the Inland Revenue or Department of Social Security understood.
    Things have not improved.
    I know I was there.

    • Roger, there seems to be a correlation between those that do not like government and running it poorly. People should not forget the first major change Donald Trump did was the travel ban and it was so god-awful in execution, it was pulled after two days. Not telling those who had to administer it or govern it in advance are just two reasons. Keith

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