Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Senate Democrats target oil companies

Posted By on Wed, May 11, 2011 at 6:21 AM

Why not? Why should major oil companies awash in profits not give up their tax breaks?

Why shouldn't budget correction include new revenue as well as spending cuts?

Post columnist Ruth Marcus elaborates on Republican economic theory and House Speaker Boehner's notion of cutting "trillions" in federal spending to achieve fiscal soundness.


It certainly can’t be accomplished on Boehner’s unbending, no-new-taxes terms. And if the speaker truly believes that it would be “more irresponsible” to raise the debt ceiling without instituting deficit-reduction measures than not to raise it at all, we’re in a heap of trouble.

Even more alarming, because it has consequences beyond the debt-ceiling debate, is the incoherent, impervious-to-facts economic philosophy undergirding Boehner’s remarks.

She proceeds to correct Boehner on any number of factual mistakes, including the notion that economic growth doesn't follow tax increases. See Bill Clinton, for one. And what about the idea that tax increases would increase the debt?

“A tax hike would wreak havoc not only on our economy’s ability to create private-sector jobs, but also on our ability to tackle the national debt.”

During the early 1980s, taxes were cut and public debt ballooned, from 26 percent of GDP in 1980 to 40 percent by 1986. In 1993, taxes were increased (and spending cut); debt as a share of the economy fell, from 49 percent to 33 percent. In 2001 and 2003, taxes were cut. By the time President Obama took office, debt had climbed to 40 percent of GDP.

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