Seeking Alpha

Here's the White House math behind why "tax reform" can't replace all the income from letting...

Here's the White House math behind why "tax reform" can't replace all the income from letting the Bush tax cuts for the rich expire: Limiting a cap in deductions to incomes over $250K leaves only $800B in revenue; phasing in a cap to avoid a "cliff" reduces revenues to $650B; excluding the charitable deduction reduces it to $450B. That's why the likeliest outcome is a hybrid approach that combines an increase in marginal tax rates with a cap in deductions.
Comments (31)
  • Doesn't much matter if administration can find any of the $1T annually they have added to spending to cut.
    29 Nov 2012, 06:57 PM Reply Like
  • Bret, I have to agree. I am woefully disappointed. I have seen some brave Republicans stepping up to the plate - where are the fiscally conscious dems???
    29 Nov 2012, 11:29 PM Reply Like
  • Cap on deductions?
    29 Nov 2012, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • IIRC, this was a feature of the Romney plan in the latter stages of the campaign
    29 Nov 2012, 07:33 PM Reply Like
  • This is not going to end well I have a feeling.
    29 Nov 2012, 07:26 PM Reply Like
  • $15 trillion in debt, roughly 150 million individual taxes filed. Roughly 50% of federal revenue from income taxes. Total federal revenue of $2.5 trillion, 50% of revenue from income taxes, which is 1.25 trillion. If they want to pay down the debt over 50 years from taxing income only, they need $0.3 trillion a year. They need to raise federal income taxes about 24%. This would bring the 15% tax rate to 18%, and the 28% rate to 34%. Or, raise taxes 20% and cut spending 4%, I mean real cuts, not reductions in increases. Some combination of 24% is required. The math is simple, the politics are not.
    29 Nov 2012, 07:42 PM Reply Like
  • Except that even the most conservative budget forecasts have us borrowing money for another 20 years or so. Remember that these so called spending cuts are really only slowing the rate of increase in spending.
    29 Nov 2012, 09:28 PM Reply Like
  • And that is what will kill this country. Unfortunately, the idiots in the general public believe the politicians when they say they're cutting spending. Nobody ever questions how we spend more and more each year, yet, spending is cut. This country is becoming the United States of Drones.
    29 Nov 2012, 09:46 PM Reply Like
  • just 20? really? wow. "these borrowing numbers are so large they compound with little to no interest." the only way to get more revenues is through higher SALES not through higher incomes...which have been stagnant going on a decade now. one way to keep those higher sales is to keep the "redistributionist bent" of the code. but if production keeps getting outsourced i'm not sure for how much longer that can's not really "working" now at all. higher prices can "work"...but to say that it's "uneven" really is an understatement. All those higher prices are benefiting the mostly rural areas. simply put "there ain't a lot of goobermint in those parts to begin with."
    29 Nov 2012, 11:23 PM Reply Like
  • White House Math:


    What you earn = what we need.


    Programs we design and run = How you should live.


    Current Spending - Spending Cuts = Higher Spending


    Bureaucrats + More bureaucrats + More Regulations + More Social Programs + More Regulations + More Bureaucrats - Freedom - Liberty = Nirvana


    My Math:


    Government Bureaucrats + Politicians + Financial Elite = Tyranny


    Freedom + Liberty = Greatest Threat to Big Brother or /and


    Freedom + Liberty = Foundation for all the wealth created
    29 Nov 2012, 08:08 PM Reply Like
  • Can we at least agree on one thing?
    29 Nov 2012, 08:23 PM Reply Like
  • These traitors can not stop the spending for fear of curtailing their billion dollar life styles.


    You take away lobbyists, withhold for a few years taking a private sector job after you leave public service, and place a term limit on holding office when there is anything other than a minimal deficit, and this mess which Washington created would get solved tonight.


    I am starting to seethe when i hear these assholes come out and say 'we have a spending problem.' No, YOU have a spending problem. You put us in this position, You benefited from it personally every time a government program was let, and YOU will suffer the consequences of Your actions.


    Stop trying to shove it down the throats of the great unwashed. We don't hear from assholes like Schumer for months on end, and all of a sudden there's a chance to be on camera 'saying the right things' (while shoving it up the taxpayers ass), and voila, there he and the rest of these traitors are.


    I am sick of the pretend 'horror' from guys like McConnell and Boener--Democrat or Republican. If they want to shed their crocodile tears for this country, then let them do something real. Like the fisherman said this morning, when i have a problem, i fix it.


    Fix it, you fucktards. Every family in America does it, and the supposedly 'best and brightest' which we send to Washington can't balance a budget?


    Everyone of them ought to be sequestered until they get it done correctly without shenanigans and mirrors. Real simple: we take in this; we owe that; we can spend this.


    I cant tell you how much it hurts to see people like this driving OUR Country over the cliff. When does it stop?
    29 Nov 2012, 08:54 PM Reply Like
  • Like all things falling, it stops at impact.
    29 Nov 2012, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • I was going to report you for abuse (profanity).


    But I could not. For I agree 100% with your comment.
    29 Nov 2012, 11:01 PM Reply Like
  • I sent a fairly large document to President Obama outlining how through spending cuts alone, we can balance the budget. I hope someone in the WH reads the document and runs the numbers. Here is a summary :


    1) gradually raise the government-subsidized retirement age to age 76 (any individual can retire whenever they want if they want to pay their own way) - receive Medicare & Social Security when you turn 76.


    2) cease government payment for the last 5 days of inpatient care prior to death - the cost of the last 5 days of hospitalization falls on the estate of the deceased - this is a government savings of about $200 billion. If you want to die in the ICU connected to machines, weighing 90 pounds - you pay for it. Heroic clinical intervention for end-stage, terminal disease in the US is uber expensive and results in the death of the patient.


    3) pay for performance across the board - pay doctors / hospitals / nurses for good outcomes, not bad ones.


    4) Adhere to evidence-based guidelines with no deviation.


    5) Force individuals with bad habits - smokers, obesity, poor exercise, poor nutrition, alcoholics ... to pay more for their own bad habits...


    The debt is a joke compared to the massive unfunded entitlements that we have "promised" people. Remember, the government has no contract with you that they must pay for your retirement. It is your body, your life and your destiny. I want the government as far away as possible from my life. If I could discharge Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid I would do that in a heart beat. If you need a liver transplant, pay for it yourself! Imagine a society where our own personal actions directly impacted us without a government constantly paying for our unemployment, the diseases arising from our obesity and smoking...!


    I doubt President Obama will analyze my recommendations but it is worth a shot.
    29 Nov 2012, 08:59 PM Reply Like
  • how do i know when you're going to die? is it the "before all the money is spent" indicator?
    29 Nov 2012, 11:26 PM Reply Like
  • Show me one country who through spending cuts has grown the economy?
    29 Nov 2012, 11:27 PM Reply Like
  • Canada sharply changed their fiscal policies - took their medicine and laid a strong foundation for their economic growth over the past decade.


    Now you show me one country that has grown the economy by piling up the debt to over 100% of GDP.
    30 Nov 2012, 01:12 AM Reply Like
  • More proof of why we are where we are, because of zombies like you redarrow.
    30 Nov 2012, 01:43 AM Reply Like
  • " Show me one country who through spending cuts has grown the economy?"


    South Korea got hit hard by the Asian crisis and had spending curtailed hardcore in order to receive aid through the IMF. Look where they are at today. A perfect example of what getting one's fiscal house in order can do.
    30 Nov 2012, 02:22 AM Reply Like
  • All good ideas. I'm with you...I'm really tired of having my earnings confiscated to fund, in large part, the consequences of a lifetime of bad decisions by others. You might add:


    6) Drop out of high school and forever forfeit all forms of welfare and social assistance.


    Also, how about we weight our votes according to the amount of federal taxes paid. Those who contribute the most, get the most say. Don't pay taxes and you can't vote. It would never fly, of course, but oh what a change it would be.
    30 Nov 2012, 03:03 AM Reply Like
  • I suggesting that those with stock in IBM vote at the shareholders meeting? And those with no stock, receive no vote?


    So... those who pay taxes get a vote and those who contribute - NOTHING - receive no vote?


    Obama got elected by people who depend on his policies of dependence. This will perpetuate itself unless we have a real public debate on what our values are.


    Kids in America are not scared at all. They have no concern that there are more engineers in China than all of the rest of the world combined.
    30 Nov 2012, 05:28 AM Reply Like
  • Did they do it through just spending cuts?
    30 Nov 2012, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • IN the Case of Canada - YES!


    They were spending themselves into oblivion. I believe their Debt to GDP was approaching 90-100%. They cut back some social programs, cut government spending, told people the truth, and miraculously in a couple of years debt/GDP was declining (I think today its down in the 30-40% area), economic growth was HIGHER than USA, and things are generally good.


    I can't speak to the specifics of South Korea, but I know Thailand faced similar problems during the crisis and they cut government spending. And they are thriving today despite a couple of severe natural disasters along the way.


    See we don't live in a static world - when the government is reduced people devote some of their resources to their communities - other institutions step up to provide social services - neighbors look out for their neighbors - families take care of families. We perpetuate this myth that someone only Government bureaucrats can help people - when in fact they are the LAST people that can truly help people.
    30 Nov 2012, 01:50 PM Reply Like
  • I was ASKING good effing grief!
    30 Nov 2012, 07:12 PM Reply Like
  • So Canada didn't raise any taxes and did it all through spending cuts?
    30 Nov 2012, 07:13 PM Reply Like
  • Did they raise any taxes? I'm bringing this up because they had economist on Bloomberg (?) who said no country has had a growing economy with just spending cuts and gave examples of Europe. I'm not here to preach or put people on the spot but looking for specifics.
    30 Nov 2012, 07:17 PM Reply Like
  • I believe that you'll find they actually lowered some taxes - their corporate tax rate is now lower than ours.


    But rather than take my word for it you should do some reading. I think Canada is a good example of a developed country taking their medicine and setting the stage for longer term growth. Thailand is at a different stage in their economy than Canada/USA.


    As the Debt/GDP level falls more money is then actually spent on things like infrastructure and social services. Think about our government - it hasn't been changed since I was born!!!! (and I'm old). Just added to and added to and added to. Its supposed to be called public service - slash the bureaucrats salaries and benefits - don't like it - quit. Downsize agencies - combine agencies - cut military especially overseas. Raise retirement ages. Clean out the disability rolls, etc, etc, etc.


    Think about this - FDR - the supposed liberal giant - introduced social security to provide for a minimum level of income in old age - and HE defined it as the average life expectancy. Now we live 15 years longer but the retirement age is only what - 2 years more??? Why? Was FDR a hateful person? Did he want Grandma to starve or die? No - he expected people to work!!!!!
    30 Nov 2012, 07:21 PM Reply Like
  • We are at war with the most dangerous enemy that has ever faced makind in his long climb from the swamp to the stars; and it's been said that if we lose that war, and in so doing, lose this way of freedom of ours, history will record with the greatest astonishment that those who had the most to lose did the least to prevent its happnening.
    -Ronald Reagan
    30 Nov 2012, 01:18 AM Reply Like
  • According to an article on Market Watch the proposal included a provision to tax dividends as income. Ouch. Double taxation. Don't they realize that will bring a lot of harm to middles class business owners?
    30 Nov 2012, 03:12 AM Reply Like
  • They don't care. The leviathan must be fed.
    30 Nov 2012, 07:54 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)