Friday, January 28, 2005

More SocSec

I saw this and realized it was so important, I'm just going to steal it outright from Talking Points Memo:

A note from TPM reader Paul Krugman ...
Today's WSJ lead editorial is a classic. It's titled "All you need to know", and shows the CBO projection of declining deficits and stable debt. What they either don't know or believe readers don't know is that this is the *baseline* projection, which assumes that the sunset clauses in the tax cuts actually go into effect, with the whole thing expiring at the end of 2010 (which is halfway through fiscal 2011, in their chart.) It also assumes that nothing is done to reform the alternative minimum tax, which amounts to a stealth tax increase. So what they've proved is that the tax cuts are affordable as long as they go away ...

The sunset clause says that the tax cuts Bush implemented will increase until 2010, when they will vanish. Not increase gradually, but ... *poof* ... surprise, taxes again! The problem is that no one seriously thinks that Congress in 2010 will let a big tax increase happen on their watch, and it's generally assumed the tax cuts will be made permanent near then. But the CBO is required by law to make their projections as if they follow the law as it's written now.

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