This morning there is a lot of outrage in Editorials and Op-Eds about Sen, Jon Kyl’s statement that the Bush tax cuts haven’t diminished revenue. It starts with the Washington Post editorial that the GOP has no problem extending tax cuts for the rich
Senate Republicans, committed as they are to preventing the debt from mounting further, can’t approve an extension of unemployment benefits because it would cost $35 billion. But they are untroubled by the notion of digging the hole $678 billion deeper by extending President Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Republican Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) about this contradiction. Mr. Kyl’s response is worth examining because of what it says about the GOP’s refusal to practice the fiscal responsibility it preaches.
….. Mr. Kyl trotted out the tired and unsubstantiated argument that the tax cuts for the wealthy must be extended because otherwise “you’re going to clobber small business.” Mr. Wallace persisted: “But, sir, . . .how are you going to pay the $678 billion?” — at which point Mr. Kyl descended into nonsense. “You should never raise taxes in order to cut taxes,” he declared. “Surely Congress has the authority, and it would be right to, if we decide we want to cut taxes to spur the economy, not to have to raise taxes in order to offset those costs. You do need to offset the cost of increased spending, and that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset [the] cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.”
Huh? No one’s talking about cutting taxes on the wealthy to stimulate the economy. The issue is whether the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans should be extended, adding another $678 billion to the deficit over the next decade. The tax cuts, it’s worth remembering, passed originally in 2001 with the argument that the surplus was so large that rates could be cut with budgetary room to spare. Now that the fiscal picture has deteriorated so badly, the questions remains: How are you going to pay the $678 billion? And if you don’t, how are you going to justify the added damage to an already grim fiscal outlook?
Just in case you had some lingering notion that anyone in the Republican party was fiscally responsible, Mitch McConnell has weighed in in support of Jon Kyl:
[T]here’s no evidence whatsoever that the Bush tax cuts actually diminished revenue. They increased revenue, because of the vibrancy of these tax cuts in the economy. So I think what Senator Kyl was expressing was the view of virtually every Republican on that subject.
In a way you have to wonder what point there even is in trying to argue here. But anyway, look: it’s been a long time since Morning in America. We’ve now been through two two-term administrations, one of which raised taxes, the other of which cut them. Which looks like it presided over a more vibrant economy?
Krugman up dates at the end telling his readers who complain he is “too partisan”
Update: Also, for those readers who complain that I’m too partisan, that I should admit that there are two sides to the issues, this is a prime example of my problem. How am I supposed to pretend that these are serious people? The facts really do have a well-known liberal bias.