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"Let the fiscal cliff happen and reduce the deficit very substantially as a consequence," quips...

"Let the fiscal cliff happen and reduce the deficit very substantially as a consequence," quips GOP advisor Bruce Bartlett. The combination of spending cuts and tax hikes will eventually strengthen the economy. Conversely, he says, the Republicans refusal to raise taxes will actually hurt the economy. Baby boomers are due to retire in droves over the next few decades, and government spending has to rise. If we don't raise taxes we'll just have to borrow more from abroad, thereby increasing interest payments on the debt. (video)
Comments (30)
  • Yeah let me know how the raising taxes works out. Hard to get blood from a turnip....
    13 Dec 2012, 07:54 PM Reply Like
  • Those Republicans.


    See, they WERE really, really clever when they cut the current deal a few years back.


    They got the stimulative tax cuts we needed back then, we grew our economy like gangbusters, and now that we need to increase government spending, the tax increases are in place to fund that spending.


    Who knew? And we didn't have to elect mittens to make it all happen.


    Isn't life just perfect, sometimes?
    13 Dec 2012, 08:22 PM Reply Like
  • This guy nails it. The fiscal cliff is perfect. Obama is being disingenuous, chasing a small segment of the population.


    The middle-class tax cut is actually more expensive to maintain. Let 100% of the people pay for the government they want. Besides, if people want clinton-era prosperity, wouldn't that mean EVERYONE paying clinton-era rates?
    13 Dec 2012, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • Full rollback to Clinton era rates on everything is a good start.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:06 PM Reply Like
  • Honestly though, high income earners should pay more for at least a while. The government can securitize consumer debt and student loan debt and then use surplus tax revenues to pay for them so they can be cancelled. Then, we can look at why educational costs are so high and how to prevent predatory lending practices that create bubbles in the future.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • Spending is a bigger issue than revenues.... we aren't that far off from historical revenues % compared with GDP, but our unfunded liabilities are going to balloon out of control in short order.


    Raising taxes on 100% of people instead of 2% is going to go a lot farther to fixing the debt problem
    13 Dec 2012, 09:42 PM Reply Like
  • "surplus tax revenues"??? We could confiscate 100% of the "high income earners" salary, and still not be within nine zeros of "surplus tax revenues".
    13 Dec 2012, 11:25 PM Reply Like
  • Depends what the rates are set at. Anyway, the important thing is to get consumers spending again. Consumers will not spend when they are loaded down with excessive debt. The economy cannot recover and America cannot be strong again until this debt is gone. It would take 30 or 40 years to pay it off, but it could be gone tomorrow at the stroke of a pen... and then we could get the economy going again and people spending and working.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:10 AM Reply Like
  • You write as if all consumers are the same.


    Those in debt have made their own choices and can live with them. The idea that I should be paying off my neighbors 600 station cable bill, super duper smartphone data plan, 2 luxury cars, the 10 vacations they have taken the past five years, and their student loans is a joke.


    Somehow we had a great economy when people saved 10% of their income. Getting back to that would also mean we've told people the government isn't there to take care of them - which would be extremely good and the resulting spending cuts would be dramatic.


    The reason education costs are high?


    1. Higher education is more expensive than 30 years ago because the government will give any idiot almost unlimted loans which allows higher education institutions to raise prices to the moon.


    2. Primary education is being run for and by the teachers union. We have TWICE the number of adults per pupil than we did in the mid-80's. Teachers are earning more than those in the community that they serve and their pensions are creating long term debt for our children to pay.


    The answer is less government involvement in our life, not more.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:50 AM Reply Like
  • That spending you're talking about? Yeah, that was corporate revenue. If you owned stocks while they were doing that spending, they put cash money in your pocket by making the corporations you owned more valuable. They helped create an economy in which you could get hired at a certain rate of pay. The reason the economy sucks now is that those people are no longer spending anything, except paying 30% annual interest on credit card debts they surely did not mean to run up.


    This is a Chinese finger trap. If we pull hard against it we will never escape. We must give a little first to pull our way out of this one.
    14 Dec 2012, 03:34 AM Reply Like
  • do you explain the G.I. Bill after WWII? That seemed to work pretty well. By the way pensions are basically a 401k plan that the government picks someone to run. You make it sound like it a hedge fund who only takes clients with an excess of a million dollars.
    14 Dec 2012, 04:40 PM Reply Like
  • The GI bill of 1944 provided:


    1. Federal Government guarantee up to 50% of a loan to purchase a farm or home.
    2. $500 per school year for tuition. At the time Harvard charged $400 a year. And an unmarried vet received a $50 monthly stipend for living expenses. Those amounts in today's $'s - $6,484 and $648.
    3. Unemployment for up to a year.


    Now take a look at what the current GI bill provides and tell me something looks a bit different. Government money provided a great education initially.... but what happened.... more and more government programs - "We can help everyone!"..... leads to more and more waste, higher and higher prices, less and less value.


    Something interesting is that only 20% of servicemen needed the unemployment payments and only 51% took advantage of the educational opportunities under the GI Bill.


    Equally interesting is that in 1950 direct payments to institutions were stopped due to.... get this.... overcharging and defrauding the government!


    So Harvard prior to government money flooding the system $5000 (in today's dollars), and its what? $50K today? Someone else can look into state schools but I'd be fairly sure its similar.
    14 Dec 2012, 06:46 PM Reply Like
  • If I were Obama , I'd go over the cliff. I'd tell the IRS chief to only enforce the tax code against the rich. Take a tip from Willie Sutton---need revenues--go where the money is. Strict enforcement against the wealthy and corporations. Let it be widely known that that will be the policy. Everybody take enough exemptions on their payroll tax so there won't be an increase on people who actually work for a living. Two years later we vote the House Tea Party out and with a Democratic majority and the justice department we finish family business with the fraudsters.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:09 PM Reply Like
  • Sounds like totalitarianism...
    14 Dec 2012, 12:50 AM Reply Like
  • So basically say the IRS will make up the laws as they go along?????


    And what other laws would you like to suspend for certain groups?


    Government taking whatever they want...... like in the USSR.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:51 AM Reply Like
  • David, perhaps you didn't quite understand. My comment said enforce the law--not ignore the law. Enforcement is always selective. How many people get speeding tickets? How many people are actually speeding? Law enforcement usually goes after the most blatant offenders. You seem to have ideological blinders on that do not allow you to parse meaning from plain English.
    14 Dec 2012, 05:59 AM Reply Like
  • No you made it clear that everyone except those that you say are rich will simply be told to take enough exemptions that they don't owe any money.


    I don't see police officers telling certain drivers to drive 100 mph? I see them exercising discresion. The law applies to all but they discern the guy going 80 through a neighborhood and the guy going 80 on the interstate. Just like the IRS discerns between miscalulating interest owed on taxes paid versus lying about earnings.


    And is seems to me that your liberal democrats controlled all houses of congress and the presidency and prosecuted exactly how many of the fraudster bankers? Huh?


    And given your last statement about finishing business I'd say I hit the nail on the head - your just one of the elites that believes you are best to decide who should have what. Bureaucrats ran the USSR into the ground. They lived better than the general population, lorded over the masses, and made up the law to whatever purpose was needed.


    Democrats seem to be going right down the same path.
    14 Dec 2012, 06:52 PM Reply Like
  • "If we don't raise taxes we'll just have to borrow more from abroad"


    Why do we have to borrow more from abroad? Just borrow it from the FED. They can increase the size of their balance sheet to what? Maybe $10 or 20 Trillion.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:33 PM Reply Like
  • Or we could cut spending. Just saying.
    13 Dec 2012, 09:35 PM Reply Like
  • For starters lets cut government's juicy pensions that companies no longer give. Companies did a way with retirement benefits of employees for a reason! No more gold watch for government employees....time to do what makes financial sense.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:07 PM Reply Like
  • Juicy you know what government pays out in pensions to people? What should they make?
    14 Dec 2012, 12:30 AM Reply Like
  • RedArrow,
    I have friends that are retired from government service and their pensions are plush IMO. I would like to see a cap on all government pensions of say $50K per year and then index it for inflation.


    Many state schemes give folks a percentage of their salaries based on number of years worked times a percentage times the average of their three highest earning years. So work 30 years and retire with 65-75% of your three best years, depending on the formula applied. And thats ignoring the states where its just based on your last year's pay or best year's pay (including overtime).


    There is no reason that 52 year olds should be able to spend their days gardening, driving BMW''s and collecting 100K+ from the government - all for shuffling papers for 30 years. Sorry but it simply theft.
    14 Dec 2012, 02:57 AM Reply Like
  • David:


    In California that retirement percentage can reach 95%.
    14 Dec 2012, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • redarrow... I dont know where you live but here in NJ, I hear stories of government officials working "2 jobs", thus earning 2 pensions when they retire. Name one company that pays 1 employee for 2 positions, then pays them TWO pensions? Or how bout my friend who worked in a jail as corrections... he saved ALL his sick days and plans on retiring over two years early, WITH pension. Name one company with financial logic that allows such garbage.
    14 Dec 2012, 09:25 AM Reply Like
  • I get it, Obama doesn't have to obey or enforce any laws because like Jamie Foxx said, he is the Lord and Savior of the Obamabots (aka "Low Information Voters").


    I'm thinking the only way this country recovers long term is if the federal government goes bankrupt and goes away for the most part
    13 Dec 2012, 09:37 PM Reply Like
  • fiscal cliff and sequestration is a lot better alternative than anything the politicians have come up with yet.
    13 Dec 2012, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • Maybe it would be a good thing as it is a precursor to the real thing later on when everyone has to pay more anyways.
    13 Dec 2012, 11:08 PM Reply Like
  • Exactly, Since we're goosing all the economic numbers by borrowing/printing 40% of federal government spending folks need to start to move towards reality.


    The recession they are "warning" about is nothing compared to what will happen if the debt keeps piling up - because the music will stop at some point in time.... how many people in Athens 5 years ago thought their society would break down???
    14 Dec 2012, 02:59 AM Reply Like
  • Shocker... crackheads want more crack.
    14 Dec 2012, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • We need to have a citizen uprising and demand another bubble.
    14 Dec 2012, 09:40 AM Reply Like
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