Opinion: Selective Budget Logic

Publication: The Boston Globe

Author: Scot Lehigh

07/20/2011 - Sometimes an erroneous assertion is made so often and with such certitude that you find yourself wondering how the people repeating it reached their incorrect conclusion.

That’s the case with the Republican insistence that Washington doesn’t have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. That specious formulation is a favorite of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Cantor’s adamant anti-revenue stance is a matter worth exploring, since it helped scotch a possible compromise around doing 75 to 80 percent of the deficit reduction on the spending side, and 20 to 25 percent though new revenues.


Dayspring didn’t cite any studies in our initial exchange. Could it be the House majority leader is simply misinformed? Doubtful, but just in case, I sent his spokesman some detailed analyses about the deficit problem.

One was a study by the nonpartisan Pew Fiscal Analysis Initiative saying that tax cuts accounted for 27 percent of the swing from the large accumulated surpluses once projected by 2011 to the deep deficits we’ve seen. Another was a report by the progressive Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimating that the tax cuts and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, plus associated interest costs, accounted for more than $500 billion of 2009’s $1.4 trillion deficit, and that by 2019, “these two policies will account for almost half - nearly $10 trillion - of the $20 trillion in debt that will be owed under current policies.’’

Read the full opinion editorial, Selective Budget Logic, on The Boston Globe's Web site. 

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