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Thursday, September 23, 2004

Bush's tax plan: borrow and spend

Edmund L. Andrews reports in today's New York Times: "Putting aside efforts to control the federal deficit before the elections, Republican and Democratic leaders agreed Wednesday to extend $145 billion worth of tax cuts sought by President Bush without trying to pay for them."

Democrats were apparently fearful that if they tried to block the Republican legislation, even to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans, it would be used against them in the upcoming elections.

Andrews writes,
With Democrats capitulating to the Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, the handful of Republican holdouts have quietly surrendered as well.

The Republican rebels - Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Olympia J. Snowe and Susan Collins of Maine - infuriated Mr. Bush and many Republican leaders. But their ability to block action evaporated without the votes of Democrats.

The result of the reversal on the part of the Democrats and the Republican moderates is likely to be a tax measure that will last longer and increase federal deficits more than a two-year extension that Republican Senate leaders offered this summer. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has estimated that debt will climb by $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years, and that making all Mr. Bush's tax cuts permanent would cost an additional $1.9 trillion by the end of 2014.

It's like an 18-year-old with a credit card.


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