And thanks for finally following me on Twitter, Lowell. What took you so long? lol.
I see the poll there to the left… should the Bush Tax Cuts be extended? Of course, they shouldn’t. We should not be adding to our national debt to finance our tax cuts. That is wrong on two counts: 1.) We strap future generations to pay for our fiscal irresponsibility and 2.) Quite frankly, it’s bad for our national security (we shouldn’t be borrowing money from our adversaries e.g. China to pay for our tax cuts).
Some say that the Democratic party should have taken care of this tax cut issue before the 2010 midterm elections. I disagree with that. The party was already going to lose a massive number of seats and dealing with tax cuts would have been even more divisive (Democrats might have lost even more seats and would have had less power than we have now).
With all my heart, I don’t want those tax cuts to be renewed all all. As I said, it’s not fair to have future generations pay our our fiscal irresponsibility. Democrats were known in the 1990’s as the party of fiscal responsibility. Borrowing money to finance these tax cuts throws that reputation out the window. Further, I’m a strong believer in a progressive tax code.
But let’s be serious for a moment. In this political climate (we don’t have the power we had in 2006 and 2008), an extension of the Bush tax cuts for two years as probably as good a deal as Obama will get (I agree with Bill Clinton on that). In exchange, Democrats will get the extension of unemployment benefits that we requested. Bill Clinton moved to the center in his second term and Obama is just doing it a little earlier (and for the record, no I don’t think it’s centrist to temporarily review all the Bush tax cuts… this might be right of center).
Tax cuts are not the only fiscal issues that this country has to deal with. The explosive growth of Social Security and Medicare will crowd out any discretionary spending if action is not taken (that’s an issue for another diary). But, if you can get half of a loaf in this political climate, you have to accept it (I hate that I’m saying this). Obama scored a big victory with Clinton’s endorsement of the deal. It’s the best deal we can get and I think we need to be pragmatic about it.