Last Wednesday I received a newsletter from Cathy McMorris Rodgers in which she tells us how upset she is that Congress adjourned without extending the Bush tax cuts set to expire on Dec 31.
The fact that Congress would adjourn without extending the tax cuts of 2001 and 2003 – putting America’s families and small businesses at risk of a $3.9 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years – and exacerbating the economic uncertainty already felt throughout the nation – is the height of irresponsibility and recklessness.”
Since we're on the topic of irresponsibility and recklessness, let's have a look at what the Center for Budget and Policy, using numbers from the Congressional Budget Office, had to say two years ago.
Just two policies dating from the Bush Administration — tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — accounted for over $500 billion of the deficit in 2009 and will account for almost $7 trillion in deficits in 2009 through 2019, including the associated debt-service costs. These impacts easily dwarf the stimulus and financial rescues. Furthermore, unlike those temporary costs, these inherited policies (especially the tax cuts and the drug benefit) do not fade away as the economy recovers.
Without the economic downturn and the fiscal policies of the previous Administration, the budget would be roughly in balance over the next decade. That would have put the nation on a much sounder footing to address the demographic challenges and the cost pressures in health care that darken the long-run fiscal outlook.
Notice the huge contribution the Bush tax cuts make towards making the deficit worse. That's what our congresswoman is aiming for.
So who's being irresponsible and reckless?