Tax-cut debate misses point
Writer Zachary Diaz de la Cuesta, '12.
The first round of bitter partisanship has begun over the highly controversial extension of the Bush tax cuts.
The Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Acts of 2001 and 2003 were passed under the watch of President George W. Bush in response to the Congressional Budget Office's report of a budget surplus in 2001. Opposed by Democrats then, the future of these acts, set to expire on Jan. 1, is uncertain.
President Barack Obama has worked with the Senate to pass a compromise bill that would extend the tax rates for all Americans for two years.
The Senate passed this measure by an 85-13 vote on Dec. 13 and awaits a reaction from the House of Representatives. House Democrats are still upset from the deal over extending the tax cuts for high-income earners.
Democrats point to the high cost of extending cuts to high incomes and question its economic impact. Of course, the estimated $81.5 billion comes nowhere near to the $862 billion stimulus bill.
Though there are other cuts in the bill, such as a $1000 child tax credit, the Bush tax cuts cost more than $300 billion. The total cost of the bill comes to $858 billion, still less than the stimulus bill. As usual, its entire cost will be added to the national debt.
Even the estate tax, dubbed the "death tax" by Republicans, only amounts to $68 billion. Most of the bill's cost comes from cuts targeted to aid the middle class. The one-year Social Security tax cut will cost $112 billion.
"While tax cuts of any kind are certainly preferable, the national debt must be taken into account before passing the $858 billion bill." --Zachary Diaz de la Cuesta, '12
Yet liberal Democrats continue to play class warfare and advocate raising taxes on those individuals making $200,000 or more. Of course, there has been no debate about why this amount is considered wealthy.
Regardless of whether that is wealthy or not, any amount of money taken from the economy cannot be invested into the private sector, which affects every American.
While tax cuts of any kind are certainly preferable, the national debt must be taken into account before passing the $858 billion bill. Sooner or later, Congress will have to address the deficit, and cuts in spending must be made. It is inevitable that the economy will eventually recover, but the national debt will remain.
For more politics, read the Dec. 10 article, Civic responsibility necessitates voting.