A three-point test for fiscal sanity


December 3, 2012 - 12:00 AM

Einstein was right. Those who do the same thing over and over again and expect different results are insane. Congress and the administration deserve the label.
Last week Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner handed House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a proposal to avoid the fiscal cliff. Taxes would be increased $1.6 trillion over the next decade, entitlements would be reduced by $400 billion and $50 billion would be spent on stimulus projects to keep the economy improving.
Sen. McConnell reportedly laughed in Geithner’s face. Speaker Boehner told the nation that talks on fiscal reform were at a stalemale.
Boehner said the next day the Republican position remains the same: no increase in tax rates. Period.
Now Boehner did say he would listen to proposals to close loopholes and “get rid of special interest deductions” to raise the same amount of money. He would listen, understand, but would not list any of the loopholes or special interest deductions. The implication is, the details are for him to know and the administration to find out.
Mr. Boehner and Mr. Mitchell are playing games with the people. Mr. Gotrocks will see no difference in an increase in the tax rate that costs him $10,000 more on April 15 and a closing of loopholes which costs him the same amount.
Fact is, the tax structure should be reformed to get rid of unwise deductions and special interest loopholes, the income tax rates should be restored to the Clinton-era levels when the budget was in balance and spending should be reduced.
When Congress does all three it can be congratulated for fiscal sanity.

— Emerson Lynn, jr.

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