Patt Morrison for September 14, 2010

Cuts like a fiscal knife, but what will feel right? Tax cut debate looms large

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Treasury checks are run through a printer at the U.S. Treasury printing facility in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Everyone on both sides of the political aisle more-or-less agrees that tax cuts for the middle class, enacted by President Bush back in 2001, should be made permanent. The disagreement, and one of the major backdrops for the looming Congressional midterm elections in November, is over the fate of tax cuts for the richest Americans. Republicans argue for making all of the Bush tax cuts permanent, including those for the richest 2 -3%, saying that any kind of tax increase in a middle of a recession is madness; Democrats counter that with the budget deficits spinning out of control the country cannot afford the estimated $700 billion over 10 years that high-end tax breaks would cost. The larger question is how much of an impact tax cuts will have on overall economic growth, which is another point of dispute between Democrats and Republicans. As politics clashes with public policy, both parties have tough questions to answer: what’s the best tax cut move politically and what ultimately gets the economy turned around?


Rep. Peter Roskam, (R-6th District of Illinois); Deputy Republican Whip & member of the House Ways & Means Committee

Rep. Xavier Becerra, (D-31st District of California); Vice Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus & member of the House Ways & Means Committee

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