Wednesday, June 1, 2011

From Surplus to Debt, Republi-CON Style

UPDATE II: "Contrary to many [Republi-con] assertions, tax rates in the United States are low, both historically and in comparison with other developed nations." Read The New York Times, Are Taxes in the U.S. High or Low?, which notes that:

The many adjustments to income permitted by the tax code, plus alternative tax rates on the largest sources of income of the wealthy, explain why the average federal income tax rate on the 400 richest people in America was 18.11 percent in 2008, according to the Internal Revenue Service, down from 26.38 percent when these data were first calculated in 1992. . .

The truth of the matter is that federal taxes in the United States are very low. There is no reason to believe that reducing them further will do anything to raise growth or reduce unemployment."

UPDATE: Another graphic reality check regarding Republi-con fiscal irresponsibility, from Pew Trusts, Fiscal Facts: The Great Debt Shift:

The report concludes that "new legislation enacted since January 2001 has been responsible for two-thirds of the debt growth. In the new legislation, roughly three dollars of new spending has been enacted for every two dollars in tax cuts between 2001 and 2011. No single policy or piece of legislation, however, is overwhelmingly responsible for the $12.7 trillion shift in CBO’s debt projections for 2011 that occurred between January 2001 and March 2011."

"The nation’s unnerving descent into debt began a decade ago with a choice, not a crisis." Read the Washington Post, Running in the red: How the U.S., on the road to surplus, detoured to massive debt, which includes the following graph and this note: "In 2000, the United States had $3.4 trillion in debt held by the public. Based on policies in place at the time, the Congressional Budget Office projected in 2001 that the country could pay off its debt by the year 2008 and by 2011 have a $2.3 trillion surplus."

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