In other words:
Agree on the $2 trillion deal, get the debt limit increased by enough to last through the presidential election without a default, then run on a promise to veto any extension of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which would go a long way - okay maybe half way with the $250,000 cap - toward achieving a goal of $4 trillion in savings over 10 years.
Anyone else agree? Or do you think he would regret making a promise to veto them?
UPDATE: Here are some numbers on the Bush tax cuts, in case I need to convince you:
If the tax cuts are allowed to expire after all, the Congressional Budget Office projects the following deficits over the next five years if things go as currently budgeted and the tax cuts expire as scheduled:
Year - Deficit
2010 - $1,349 Billion
2011 - $980 Billion
2012 - $650 Billion
2013 - $539 Billion
2014 - $475 Billion
2015 - $480 Billion
Now, if you use the $250,000 cap - which seems likely - it's not as good, but still significant:
So of course I want President Obama to break his stupid campaign promise to extend the Bush tax cuts for all households with incomes below $250,000. The tax cuts are still unaffordable (CBO shows that even the <$250K portion would cost $2.2 trillion over ten years–all but around $400 billion of the full complement of Bush tax cuts), would still go mostly to the rich (high income households “march” through all the lower tax brackets after all and hence get the highest dollar benefit of lower-bracket rate reductions, and they also benefit the most from the lower rates of taxation on capital income), and would still do nothing to broaden the tax base to make the system more efficient.
But I submit that even people who love the Bush tax cuts and believe in “supply-side economics” (even the extreme Laffer-curve view) and sympathize or even participate in the “tea party movement” and just generally like low taxes (or dislike taxes in general) should want President Obama to break his campaign promise.
Because many of these same people who like low taxes also claim to not like the large budget deficits we’re running now or the unsustainable fiscal path that lies way out in front of us… and because President Obama has also promised to get the deficit down to a “sustainable” level of around 3 percent of GDP in five years. But the President’s own budget, which includes the deficit-financed extension of those “middle-class” Bush tax cuts (that $2.2 trillion worth), isn’t consistent with such a low deficit. CBO says that under the President’s budget, the deficit would be 4.3 percent of GDP in 2015–a level considered unsustainable because it exceeds the typical rate of economic growth. That’s why the President’s budget also proposed a fiscal commission that would recommend policies (by the end of this year) to help squeeze out the remaining 1 to 1.5 percent of GDP difference.
The White House argues the savings is about twice that amount:
The Bush tax cuts are set to expire at the end of the year, and Mr. Obama has strongly urged Congress to extend them for all Americans, except for individuals making more than $200,000 or households making more than $250,000. Allowing the tax cuts to expire for the wealthiest 2 or 3 percent of Americans would save the country $700 billion, the president argues.