A must-read from Clive. Money quote:
On taxes, it promises to "stop all job-killing tax hikes" -- that is, to retain all of the Bush tax cuts-- but says nothing about the comprehensive tax reform that will be needed to raise new revenues and balance the budget without avoidable damage to growth. The Pledge maintains the pretence that spending cuts can do all the necessary fiscal lifting -- and even here it is slippery. It promises to "roll back government spending to pre-stimulus, pre-bailout levels", which seems fair enough. But it also promises "common-sense" exceptions for "seniors, veterans, and our troops". Those common-sense exceptions are the whole ball of wax. The idea that you can control public borrowing without higher taxes and by squeezing only non-defense discretionary spending is, I'm afraid, delusional.
Not delusional, I fear. Cynical. No one who cares about the debt should treat this document with anything but contempt. And, yes, Krugman is dead-on. The Republican party's current incarnation is a threat to fiscal sanity, to national security and to civil peace. It is unhinged. When Crook and Krugman and Libertarian David Boaz agree, take notice. David:
“They are continuing the problem that I think everybody in Washington, including Democrats, understands."
Robert Bixby of the Concord Coalition:
“It’s a net increase in the deficit, because extending all of the tax cuts is a huge hit on the deficit, and they are not making anywhere near the magnitude of the spending cuts you would need to justify extending those tax cuts on a permanent basis.”
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