Must Read Articles on the National Debt:
THE TEA PARTY’S ACHILLES’ HEEL by Yuval Levin and Peter Wehner
“[T]he real test for the tea party movement is whether it can channel its energy into entitlement reform—and specifically the reform of Medicare. The reason is simple: Our debt explosion is a health-entitlement explosion. Between now and 2050, according to the Congressional Budget Office, spending on federal health programs—Medicare, Medicaid and the new ObamaCare entitlement—will grow to 13% of gross domestic product from 5.6%, while all other federal spending combined will actually decline as a share of the economy.
The crushing and unprecedented coming debt crisis cannot be averted unless health-care costs are brought under control, and that cannot be done unless the basic structure of the Medicare program is reformed. * * *
There are of course serious political dangers in tackling entitlements. But a responsible governing party needs to confront not only our easiest problems but also our most important ones. * * *
If the tea party movement does this, it will take its place among the great, constructive political movements in U.S. history. If it doesn’t, it will be judged to have been fundamentally unserious when it came to reining in the spending Leviathan.”
Read More: Levin & Wehner | The Wall Street Journal | August 19, 2011
BUSINESS MODEL BLOCKBUSTER by MARK STEYN:
“The entire Western world is operating on an unsustainable business model . . . . The problem is structural: Not enough people do not enough work for not enough of their lives. Developed nations have 30-year-old students and 50-year old retirees, and then wonder why the shrunken rump of a ‘working’ population in between can’t make the math add up.”
Read More: Mark Steyn | OCRegister.com | July 22, 2011 |
WHERE’S YOUR BUDGET, MR. PRESIDENT? by REP. PAUL RYAN (R-WI)
“The CBO’s latest Long-Term Outlook in June estimated that total tax revenues would have to double by mid-century in order to finance our current spending path. Health-care costs rose about 8% in 2011 and are projected to rise by 8.5% in 2012. At this rate, taxes would have to rise again and again just to keep up with health-care spending. Is it any wonder that the president and his party are afraid to produce a budget that requires such ruinous levels of taxation?
The president tried to use the debt-ceiling negotiations to secure the first of many tax increases that his party needs to pay for its legacy of unfunded promises. He failed. Instead, Republicans won the policy debate by securing the first of many spending restraints we need to avoid a debt-driven economic calamity.”
Read More: Rep. Paul Ryan | Wall Street Journal | Aug. 3, 2011
UNHEALTHY DEBT by JAMES C. CAPRETTA and YUVAL LEVIN
“From beginning to end, the debt crisis talks have come down to a struggle between advocates of tax increases and champions of domestic discretionary spending cuts. This important dispute has been at the heart of our politics for decades, and without question our out-of-control discretionary budget has a lot to do with the size of today’s deficit and debt. But it has little to do with tomorrow’s deficits and debt—that is, with the unprecedented oncoming explosion of federal spending and borrowing that terrifies our creditors and gravely threatens our future prosperity. Democrats were able to keep that approaching disaster entirely off the table in the debt ceiling fight. In the next round, Republicans must make sure to put it front and center.”
Read More: Capretta & Levin | The Weekly Standard | Aug. 8, 2011
THERE AREN’T ENOUGH MILLIONAIRES by KEVIN WILLIAMSON:
“When Pres. Barack Obama talks about the rich, he’s talking about people living in households with income $250,000 or more. . . . [Unfortunately,] there aren’t that many of them. In fact, in 2006, the Census Bureau found only 2.2 million households earning more than $250,000. . . .[Now,] say we wanted to balance the budget by jacking up taxes on Club 250K. That’s a problem: The 2012 deficit is forecast to hit $1.1 trillion under Obama’s budget. (Thanks, Mr. President!) Spread that deficit over all the households in Club 250K and you have to jack up their taxes by an average of $500,000. Which you simply can’t do, since a lot of them don’t have $500,000 in income to seize: Most of them are making $250,000 to $450,000 and paying about half in taxes already. You can squeeze that goose all day, but that’s not going to make it push out a golden egg.”
Read More: Kevin D. Williamson | National Review Online | March 14, 2011 |
THE ROAD TO SERFDOM by PAUL GREENBERG:
“At last report, the richest 5 percent of American earners were already paying almost 60 percent of federal income taxes, and the top 10 percent were paying 70 percent. How much more can government take without reducing the private sector, the real revenue-generator and jobs-producer of the American economy, to insignificance? . . . .After a while, there just aren’t enough rich folks to soak. While the high earners are paying a larger and larger percentage of income taxes, the bottom half of American taxpayers — 50 percent — pay only 2.7 percent of all income taxes collected.
There’s something seriously askew with this picture. It indicates an imbalance that cannot be sustained indefinitely. Which is why the national debt has grown to an alarming level, and the economy is groaning under the burden of so much debt — of just paying the interest on so much debt.”
Read More: Paul Greenberg | TownHall.Com | July 27, 2011 |
THE ELMENDORF RULE by CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER:
“I did the math [on eliminating tax breaks for corporate jet owners]. If you collect that tax for the next 5,000 years — that is not a typo — it would equal the new debt Obama racked up last year alone. To put it another way, if we had levied this tax at the time of John the Baptist and collected it every year since — first in shekels, then in dollars — we would have 500 years to go before we could offset half of the debt added by Obama last year alone.”
Read More: Charles Krauthammer | Washington Post | July 7, 2011 |
Read the Full Text of the Debt Deal:
Tax Increase Still Possible
FOX News reports:
“The debt-ceiling deal moving toward a vote in Congress could easily pave the way for tax increases despite Republican claims that tax hikes are ‘impossible’ under a deal struck with the White House to reduce spending in exchange for a debt-limit increase. But as everyone knows, impossible isn’t really in Washington’s vocabulary.
Here’s how it could happen:
After Congress enacts more than $900 billion in spending cuts to give President Obama a $900 billion lift in the nation’s $14.3 trillion debt ceiling, a bipartisan committee will be formed to find roughly $1.5 trillion in additional deficit savings over the next decade. To get there, the committee is free to look at virtually anything — including revenue — even though House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday night that current budgeting guidelines make it ‘impossible’ for the 12-member group to approve tax hikes. Other officials and analysts beg to differ.
‘The suggestion that it is impossible for the joint committee to raise tax revenue simply is not accurate, it’s false,’ White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.”