Patt Morrison for March 16, 2011

Democrats’ solution to budget woes: tax the rich

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US Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner testifies before House Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs on the Department of Treasury's 2012 budget requests for international programs on March 9, 2011.

You could be excused if you’ve heard this debate before: in an effort to close a roughly $14 trillion national debt and $1.3 billion annual budget deficit, Democrats are proposing surtaxes on the richest Americans while Republicans are proposing steep cuts in discretionary spending. This is very similar to the debate that raged in December over the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts, which eventually concluded in a compromise between Congressional Republicans and President Obama that would keep tax cuts in place for all Americans for the next two years, including the richest. Rep. Jan Schakowsky in the House & Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Senate have both introduced bills that enact new tax brackets for income starting at $1 million and ending with a $1 billion bracket, arguing that tax increases on the very rich can help control the deficit and preserve spending on social programs. Republicans have shown zero willingness to consider tax increases, sticking with a plan that would cut up to $60 billion in spending. What’s your preferred way to solve the country’s considerable deficit problem?


Judy Pigott, small business owner, author, philanthropist & member of the Responsible Wealth project

Kevin Williamson, deputy managing editor of the National Review and author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism

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