Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Sharpen Your Pencil: In the spirit of tax season, Brian Reidl at the Heritage Foundation examines Bush's tax cut:
The federal government is projected to collect $27.9 trillion in taxes over the next ten years. President Bush has proposed a $726 billion tax relief package that would drop that total to "only" $27.2 trillion. While that amount seems sufficient to satisfy Washington’s spending appetite, a group of Senators is opposing any tax cut larger than $350 billion. These Senators have described all proposals that would tax less than $27.6 trillion over the next decade as "unaffordable."
Reidl's next step is to pay for the tax cut by cutting spending. Most of the spending offset he suggests comes simply from cutting waste, counterproductive spending, and sop-type subsidies; the biggest chunk is "unreconciled transactions," a euphemism for spending that the Treasury can't even account for. And he does this without the benefit of dynamic scoring, which has to count for something (Reidl thinks 25-60% of the cut will be recouped). The idea that we can't afford this tax cut is ridiculous.

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