Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Kevin Drum pwns Andrew Sullivan

The two have been going back and forth about the prospect of balancing the budget through budget cuts alone (i.e., without tax hikes). Kevin Drum challenged Sullivan to pare down the $400 billion budget deficit without touching non-discretionary spending (surplus-running Medicare and Social Security) and without touching defense spending (a sacred cow of conservatives, anyway) and without raising taxes (ditto). Sullivan gamely accepted the challenge and promptly had himself pwn3d by Drum.

To wit:

If Sullivan wants to increase revenue by closing loopholes and increasing the gas tax, that's fine with me. But in terms of actual budget cuts, he came up with only $120 billion, about one-fourth of the actual federal deficit — and even that was mostly by the lazy expedient of "I'd just wipe out this program completely," which isn't really even a serious response.


CTK said...

I would favor tax increases in the form of loophole/corporate welfare elimination, etc. But haven't tax receipts gone up substantially since the marginal rates (and/or cap. gain rates) were reduced?

Chintan K. Amin said...

Tax receipts have indeed increased. However, I just don't buy the supply-side argument. Tax receipts and economic activity increased after Reagan's tax increases in the early 1980s, after Reagan's tax cuts later on and after the Bush/Clinton tax hikes of the late 1980s and early 1990s. Tax receipts rise when the economy is in an expansionary cycle and fall when the economy is in a recessionary cycle. There is no empirical evidence that reducing marginal rates from non-confiscatory levels has anything to do with economic growth.

I'm all for lower taxes and smaller government. But the American people clearly want big government. And more clearly, they want their kids to pay for it.

Anonymous said...

"But the American people clearly want big government. And more clearly, they want their kids to pay for it."

Agree 100%.

pck said...

you're for lower taxes and smaller government? color me skeptical.

yes - the current GOP administration has spent like crazy. note, the education bill was written by a democrat. it was a nice try, but ultimately it failed.

the pork of the current congress is ridiculous, and ticks me off.

but - no way does the democratic party have any part of reigning in the government.

there is at least an outside chance the GOP will re-introduce smaller government.

yes - i have completely avoided the subject of your blog post. that's why i'm a good lititgator. :D

CTK said...

pck: "i'm a good lititgator"