Monday, January 05, 2009

A $300 billion tax cut package is great, if

1) it is not tax-accounting gimmickry, i.e. it reduces the taxes paid by productive income earners, rather than increase tax credits to less productive and unemployed filers

2) it is offset by spending cuts

I hope that is what this Obama proposal is about, as I asked for it last November:
President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats are crafting a plan to offer about $300 billion of tax cuts to individuals and businesses, a move aimed at attracting Republican support for an economic-stimulus package and prodding companies to create jobs.

The size of the proposed tax cuts -- which would account for about 40% of a stimulus package that could reach $775 billion over two years -- is greater than many on both sides of the aisle in Congress had anticipated. It may make it easier to win over Republicans who have stressed that any initiative should rely more heavily on tax cuts rather than spending.

The Obama tax-cut proposals, if enacted, could pack more punch in two years than either of President George W. Bush's tax cuts did in their first two years.
UPDATE: The estimable Senator Judd Gregg shares sentiments:
  • First, do not build up the long-term debt unnecessarily. This is a concept that totally seemed to escape Republicans when we were at the helm.
  • Second, government should choose investment with these tax dollars. The TARP, for all its warts, has involved using tax dollars to invest in assets that will have a return to the taxpayer.
  • Third, if we're going to have an infrastructure feeding frenzy, make sure government builds public works that will make us more productive as a nation. We all love swing sets and water parks, but recovery is not about soccer games or Main Street beautification.
  • Fourth, we must cut taxes for job creators.

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