Economics Magazine

Quick Answer To Clear Up Liberal Ezra Klein's Confusion: 'Tax Issues Are Not Part Of Sequester Law'

Posted on the 26 February 2013 by Susanduclos @SusanDuclos

By Susan Duclos
Far left Liberal Pundit Ezr Klein attempts to act confused about the Republicans position as he himself tries to confuse his readers by switching the term "budget talks" with the issue on the table at the moment which is the "sequester" law.
Via Wapo, Klein headlines "I don’t understand the Republican position on the sequester."

As I understand it, the GOP has five basic goals in the budget talks:
1) Cut the deficit.
2) Cut entitlement spending.
3) Protect defense spending, and possibly even increase it.
4) Simplify the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes.
5) Lower tax rates.
The White House is willing to cut a deal with Republicans that will accomplish 1, 2, 3 and 4. But Republicans don’t want that deal. They’d prefer the sequester to that deal. That means they will get less on 1, basically nothing 2, 4, and 5, and they will actively hurt themselves on 3. So, rather than accomplishing four of their five goals, they’re accomplishing part of one. Some trade.
Notice he starts with a false premise, changes the headlined word "sequester" with the body content words "budget talks."
Klein is not confused but he is trying to confuse his readers.
The Sequester: On March 1, $85 billion in across-the-board federal spending cuts—known in Washington as the sequester or sequestration, are set to begin, prompted by a 2011 law designed to reduce the government's budget deficit.
The basic goals for the GOP in the sequester deal, which is what is on the table right now, are one number 1- cutting the deficit, and possibly number 2- cut entitlement spending.
Numbers four and five-  Simplify the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes and lowering tax rates, have absolutely nothing to do with the sequester law as proposed by the Obama administration, as passed by Congress or as signed into law by Barack Obama. Obama and Democrats want tax revenue to be part of any replacement for the sequester, and they willing to let the automatic cuts from the sequester go into effect if they cannot get more tax revenue inserted into a law that is all about spending cuts.
Republicans offered simplifying the tax code by cleaning out deductions and loopholes, in the fiscal cliff deal.... Obama refused the offer, rejected it because he demanded, and received, higher tax rates for upper income families.
In "budget talks"other than the sequester, tax reform negotiations would be appropriate, but the Republicans "goals' for the sequester are quite simple... Cut the deficit using the method already signed into law... meaning spending cuts and possibly entitlement reform.
Period. Stop. Do not pass go.
The remaining goals for "budget talks" will be addressed at the appropriate time, which is not the sequestration battle.
How difficult is that for Klein to understand?
Conn Carroll over at the Washington Examiner is spot on when he writes "Republicans are fighting to protect what little deficit reduction they’ve already accomplished through the sequester."

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