Your Fiscal Policy Reading List (not that you asked…)

October 22nd, 2012 at 10:02 pm

For an upcoming event, someone asked me to collect the fiscal policy points I view as most important right now.  I figure folks here wouldn’t want to miss out on these links, so here they are with minor annotations:

–Re, “the President doesn’t have a credible budget plan,” I say BS, and I don’t mean Bowles Simpson.  I posted about this recently here, but the key point is that even as scored by CBO—a more rigorous test than the WH scoring its of own plans–the debt/GDP ratio is stabilized in the 10-year budget window under the President’s budget.

–This fact that we’ve already cut a bunch of spending—but not called upon any new tax revenues to do some of the lifting—also strikes me as important and under-appreciated.  Though as you can see, I’m actually not sure what’s so great about getting “non-discretionary” spending as a share of GDP down to “Eisenhower levels.”

–I’m not going to bother to link to all my pieces and those of others with basic math skills who don’t see how Gov. Romney makes the tax cuts he’s promising without adding to the deficit or raising someone else’s taxes.  It’s not just all those TPC analyses showing there’s not enough money in the base broadeners to offset the revenues lost in the rate cuts.  It’s that I can’t believe they could or would cut or cap all those tax expenditures, even though many of them should surely go.

–Another set of important fiscal points are the unrealistic budgets of both Romney and Ryan.  There’s this result from CBO which shows that if you follow the Ryan budget out enough years, outside of a few key functions, there’s nothing left for everything else.  Romney’s no better (i.e., no more realistic) on this point.

–Finally, in a world where we really need stimulative fiscal policy to boost jobs and growth, I can’t stress this fiscal point enough.  It’s not the temporary spending that hurts you—to the contrary, when you’ve got as much slack in the economic system as we still do, that’s what helps you.

–So what does drive the deficit?  This stuff (mostly the Bush-era tax cuts).

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