The House moved Friday in only its second day under Democratic reign toward changing budget rules that allowed deficits to swell with lawmakers‘ pet projects and President Bush ‘s tax cuts.
How many times do we have to re-live the empirical history? Tax cuts, by stimulating the economy, boosted revenues, under JFK, Reagan, Bush the Younger, and yes, even under Clinton, who halved the capital gains tax rate (to his credit, and to Robert Rubin's credit for persuading Clinton to do so).
At some point we may reach the top of Laffer's Curve and tax cuts are no longer revenue boosting and in fact revenue detrimental, but we are not anywhere near there yet!
The key is holding the line on non-essential spending, which the Bushyrovies have simply NOT done. And I doubt the Demunists will, unless partisan "gridlock" helps slow spending.
As for these new budget rules? If they restrained spending, I'd be all for them. But sadly, I will bet anything that they will make it impossible to cut taxes for the forseeable future, as well as doom the 2010 tax cut renewal, as well as allow further entitlement growth through omissions and loopholes. I see a class-A disaster looming....
That's why the GOP needs to be championing BOTH tax cuts AND smaller government, using the revenue boosts ONLY to increase necessary defense spending and retire bond debt. If not, all we'll be doing is giving politicians more money to spend on crappy government programs.
Unfortunately, President Bush, for all his talk of tax cuts, has never been a champion of smaller government. I knew the Bushyrovies were going off the cliff when they signed onto a new Medicare prescription drug entitlement, with no means testing, based upon age only. And this was at a time when:
--Senior citizens are mostly quite well off, and the largest group of people in poverty are single mothers and their children.
--The "GI Generation" which could at least lay a World War Two legacy claim to entitlements, is dying off. The "Silent Generation" (born about 1926 to 1942) cannot really claim any such generational entitlement, and the "Baby Boomers" (born 1943 to about 1960) who will follow certainly can't.
--People are living longer, the age limits have not been raised, and thus will draw from age-based entitlements that much longer.
Perhaps the Bushyrovies were / are still scared by the ghost of Claude Pepper and other Demo dinosaurs who used to demonize Republicans about Social Security cuts. Still, a very bad and fiscally irresponsible move.
Meanwhile, remember how lib hacks like Paul Krugman berated the Bushyrovies for irresponsible spending and went on and on about how ending budget deficits and creating budget surpluses was important? Surprise! He didn't mean it...