Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TPM Post

I apologize to my reader(s) for the relative silence of the past few weeks: I had to bone up on both Spanish and Italian for oral exams (in Italian: "interrogazioni"), but that is now over. I will now attempt a burst of several postings, and at least one on the key primary elections tonight (whether before or after them, I'm not sure at this point).

First, this one I posted on Talking Points Memo's website today in response to the "news" that the Republicans have come up with an historic "compromise" on the tax cuts (among themselves, that is), the compromise being merely to kick everything down the road for two years (or three years, as Lindsay Graham generously proposed).
This is the classic slow-motion train wreck (remember "The Fugitive" remake?)
With the exception of a few renegades, you won't see many Democrats agreeing to this "compromise", and to put the shoe on the other foot for once, they should have enough votes to filibuster such a lousy deal. Remember, extending the lower rates a couple more years for the wealthy will give the special interests the chance to pull this stuff again in 2012 or 2013, when the debt will be much bigger, and the deficits and the unemployment may be no better.

A much better compromise is to allow certain tax cuts--I have in mind the reduced rates on capital gains and dividends--to continue for a couple of years, because the former will lead to some reinvestment in the economy (much more than lower rates on high-income earners would do) and the latter will help the stock market (which will lead to more spending among the wealthy). The tax rates on the wealthy should expire--now!--while the lower rates on the middle class could be extended (kicked down the road) for a few years, rather than making them permanent. That will make the projected cost of the deal much less than other options.

This is also posted on facebook--TPM has this habit of frequently screwing up my log-in ID, and I couldn't even get to the login screen for this today (as chinshihtang), so I had to use my alter ego name. Solve the riddle--earn a piddle!

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