September 23rd, 2010
11:53 AM ET
10 years ago

$700 billion too much? Why is $3 trillion OK?

New York ( - President Obama says the country can't afford the $700 billion it would cost to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for high-income households.

He said it would be "irresponsible" to borrow that much money just to hand out $100,000 tax cuts to millionaires.

Fair enough. The United States is staring at a serious medium- and long-term debt situation, so the less it's aggravated the better.

But why then is it OK to borrow $3 trillion to permanently extend the tax cuts for the majority of Americans - something the president and both parties support doing?

Full Story

Filed under: issues • President Obama • Taxes
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. Scott

    Four and the door – both parties support extending the tax cuts for the middle class so why is only a democratic ploy to gain votes? Its a ploy by both sides to gain votes. Bush's tax cuts gave me an entire $10 more every two weeks. I spend my $10 every two weeks. Whoopy! Bush's tax cuts gave my father-in-law an extra $200,000 a year that he put away in his retirement account. He could have used that money to hire but instead he used it to fatten his wallet. Trickle down doesn't work!

    September 23, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  2. Scott

    So this is the latest tactic... to frame tax cuts as "costs". What is this, the 1st grade? This is basic math, people. Taxes are revenue (not costs). The -only- costs are expenditures. Example: Let's say that I decide I want a pony, so I purchase one for $1000. What cost $1000? The pony. The next year, I want another pony. I enter your house through a window and take $1000 out of your piggy bank... and then purchase another $1000 pony. What cost $1000? The pony. The 3rd year, you install bars on your windows and I am unable to take another $1000. I go buy another pony anyway. What cost $1000? The pony.

    The -only- costs for government are the expenditures it makes. Revenue, even if reduced, is still revenue. The president either did not take elementary math classes, or he did and he is trying to appeal to people who did not. That makes him either uneducated or a liar.

    September 23, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. Ken

    A tax cut should only mean that the targeted tax payers see a reduced tax liability. It does not mean that the government in turn borrows money to replace the loss of tax revenue. The government should reduce spending by a like amount to cover the loss of tax revenue. The government cannot be allowed to continue the lie. Cut the taxes and cut the budget spending.

    September 23, 2010 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  4. Ben in Texas

    An NPR report a couple of weeks ago says that we can have a balanced budget within 5 years by doing nothing other than eliminating the Bush "Welfare for the Rich" tax cuts and the middle class tax cuts. Why are all those "conservative" Repugnants against letting these evil tax cuts expire, if they truly want a balanced budget? Their "small business" reasoning doesn't hold water for several reasons. Businesses hire people ("create jobs", in Repugnant-speak) when they can make money off the backs of those people. That is not affected by how much they pay in taxes.

    In fact, the Repugnants only want to shovel our money to the rich. That is their life's task. Send welfare checks to the rich, thereby bankrupting and destroying the middle class. They are trying to make America a third world country so that the rich will have absolute control over the populace. The rich already have their own private armies, like Blackwater, to keep us in line when we are all impoverished and slaves to them.

    I am glad to give up the pitiful little tax break I would get from Bush's anti-American middle class poverty plan. Tax me like I was taxed under Clinton, but tax the rich back to the Stone Age.

    September 23, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  5. Frank in Valparaiso Indiana

    We should let all expire.

    But, if you are bound and determined to do a tax cut, then one for the middle class will at least run the money through the economy.

    Go read the Financial Times. The tax cuts of the Bush Administration did NOTHING but kill OUR economy in the US while having the rich MOVE THE ENTIRE TAX CUT OVERSEAS WHERE THEY CREATED JOBS AND PLANTS MAINLY IN CHINA.

    Real good. Building up a Commie state at the expense of the US.
    Sounds like treason to me.

    September 23, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. brad

    The way I see it all tax cuts should be gotten rid of..the goverment doesn't get in enough revenue as is..the average american pays lil to no taxes at all and it doesn't make since at all..we want the goverment to do things our way but we don't want to pay taxes in return..if they would simply do there job and collect taxes and stop worrying about our feelings geting hurt there would be no national debt and they would have had the power and funds needed to save the economy instead we don't pay taxes..I guess its lucky for us the chinese wants us to continue to have a goverment..thanx china for this weeks loan 😉

    September 23, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  7. U.S. Common Sense

    This is what happens when you elect "Party politicians." They don't care about us. They just care about getting reelected and keeping their Party in power. It is beyond time that we abolish this two-party dominated system, place consecutive-terms limits for all positions, and make elections more accessable to candidates (remove some of these burdensome ballot petiton/application fee requriements).

    September 23, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  8. Eric

    All tax cuts for everyone should be rolled back to the year 2000's rates. As much as that's going to hurt my pay check a bit, it shouldn't have been there in the first place. Really we should go back to the tax structure before Reagan. Cut off all government subsidies for farming and corporate welfare.

    September 23, 2010 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  9. Peter E

    Neither is okay. Tax cuts just don't work. For decades we've had tax cut after tax cut and yet we've had recession after recession. There is just simply no data supporting the myth that tax cuts create jobs. Tax cuts make rich people richer while increasing the deficit. And yet the ever growing wealth of those rich people did not translate into more jobs. Tax cut creation of jobs is the biggest economic lie jammed down our throats in the past half century!
    And there is no easy way to reduce deficit unless one addresses the three biggest items of the budget. Social Security, Medicare, and military spending (not just the Pentagon, but also Veteran benefits, Homeland Security, emergency war fundings) together make up over 90% of the federal budget. (excluding the tax cuts)

    September 23, 2010 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  10. Bill from GA

    None of the tax cuts should be extended 'permanently' (in government, permanent is permanent only until it is changed).

    Extend the middle income tax cuts for 2 years, because those go to people who will put most of it back into the economy. Then see if we can start getting control of the outrageous debt.

    September 23, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  11. Limbaugh is a liberal

    The GOP is a liar. They will not reign in spending. They never have. Their beloved Reagan and Bush administrations each have doubled the national debt. The same people who are right now complaining about federal spending are the ones that in this past decade voted unanimously for spending bill after spending bill. Where was their restraint then? Why should believe them this time?

    September 23, 2010 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  12. Bill from GA

    A lot of people use the argument that 'small business' will be hurt and lay off workers. Very few will.

    Most intelligent people know that income tax is not paid by a business on payroll; payroll is a cost DEDUCTED from TAXABLE income (for those who need a little help, that means payroll is not taxed as income).

    Businesses only pay tax on profits. They will hire people if it makes them more profit, unless they are idiots, or conservative nutjobs willing to sacrifice profits to make a point.

    September 23, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
1 2