Just a day after the President rolled out his deficit-reduction plan, David Brooks is upset, various people good at math are finding that it's nothing but tax increases, and the "cuts" are based on budget baselines that are ludicrous. But some of them are downright hilarious:
Obama’s proposals to overhaul the tax code, which were included in the deficit-reduction plan, drew criticism. In his previous budgets, he has measured his policies against a baseline that assumes a continuation of tax cuts for the middle class enacted under President George W. Bush; those cuts are scheduled to expire next year. Because Obama wants to extend the middle-class tax cuts, the assumption permits him to do so without appearing to make annual budget deficits worse.So although Obama once swore he would never extend the Bush tax cuts, he knows future Obama will break that vow. But if he keeps that promise now, then he can save almost a trillion dollars. Nice!
This month, however, the White House began using a new baseline that assumes continuation of all the Bush-era tax cuts, including those for high earners as well as for the middle class. This approach, as one senior GOP aide put it, allows Obama to claim “fictitious savings” of $866 billion over the next decade by letting the tax cuts expire for high earners.