Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bush Tax Cuts and The Federal Deficit

Below is commentary to support Fareed Zakaria's position regarding the chart above. The chart, based on congressional budget office estimates, illustrates the component parts of the federal deficit over the next 10 years. Zakaria is author of the great bestseller "The Rise of the Rest" and is, among other things, a CNN contributing coorespondent. He is a frequent lunch guest of the President. He is one of America's great contemporary thinkers and contributors to the national dialogue.

Fareed Zakaria, August 1, 2010 -

"George W. Bush's massive tax cuts are the largest single chunk of the structural budget deficit. This chart shows deficit growth over the next ten years and the dark orange strip shows just how much the Bush tax cuts add to the deficit.

Were the tax cuts to expire, the deficit would automatically shink by 30%......$300. billion+.

Republicans are adamantly opposed to any expiration of the Bush tax cuts. They say it would weaken the economy. They also argue that what is weakening the economy is the prospect of an unending budget deficit.

Federal tax receipts as a percentage of the economy are at the lowest level since 1950. Half of all Americans pay no income taxes.

We have to be willing to pay for the government we want, which by the way is among the smallest of western industrialized nations. Or we have to drastically cut government, which means cut programs popular among middle class Americans, since that is where most of the money is.

Let the entire slew of Bush tax cuts expire. That would take us back to the Clinton era rates where the American economy had its strongest growth in 3 decades and the first balanced budget in 4 decades.

Everyone wants the congress to act. This would require the congress to done nothing. LET THE BUSH TAX CUTS EXPIRE."

(The debate over the expiration of the Bush tax cuts will be spirited and critical as we continue to move out of this economic turndown. The off-year elections in November will further complicate the discussions. I will hope for, and look for, some courage and statesmanship from those in congress, as well a some strong leadership from the President. It should be interesting).

Although the cost for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are accounted for in the chart above, I add the link below for emphasis.


  1. Since "Half of all Americans pay no income taxes", why should the other half pay for programs that benefit the first half. That's redistribution of wealth.

  2. Don, his point there is let's get more people contributing their fair share to the kitty. But yes, America is obviously about some redistibution of wealth. Thank goodness.


Blog Archive