enate Republicans have a plan to permanently extend the income tax cuts introduced by George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, says The Washington Post. This week they will introduce the Tax Hike Prevention Act to preserve the Bush tax cuts ad infinitum, says the paper, a move that could deny the Treasury over $4 trillion in revenue. President Obama's plan is to extend the cuts only for those making less than $250,000 — a move that the GOP says would harm small business owners. Does the GOP plan add up? (Watch a Fox Business discussion about the GOP's plan)
The Republicans just want to keep things as they are: The GOP plan wouldn't "deprive" the federal government of anything, says Ed Morrissey at Hot Air. In fact, it would "prevent a massive $4 trillion tax increase." Extending the tax regime would just "continue the status quo," and it wouldn't cost the government a penny if they cut spending. But letting the cuts expire would "sharply impact the economy" — and that's something we can't afford.
"WaPo: GOP wants to 'deprive' govt of $4 trillion dollars"
But we can't go on like this: "This is insane," says Bill Egnor at FireDogLake. We've borrowed trillions to fund these tax cuts and we need to start paying it back. It stands to reason that those who "benefited the most from the Bush tax cuts" — the "ultra wealthy" top 2 percent of earners — should bear the brunt of it. But that's who the GOP is now fighting to protect. What is it about "Washington and taxes that seems to destroy the ability of law makers to do simple math"?
"Borrow and spend Republicans unveil tax cut package"
McConnell needs to explain how his plan is affordable: The Republicans want to cut taxes and spending, says The Economist. But current tax levels are already at a record low. A "median-income family of four" currently pays the lowest income tax "since people started measuring, in 1955." To match our spending with our tax revenue, we'd have to cut it to a level "we haven't seen in 50 years." Until McConnell explains how he would do that, it's not certain whether we have a "taxing problem or a spending problem."
"Mitch McConnell's existential poser"
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- If a nuclear bomb exploded in downtown Washington, what should you do?
- 31 TV shows to watch in 2014
- There's a number of reasons the grammar of this headline could infuriate you
- He said he was leaving. She ignored him.
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- How to be more satisfied with your life, according to science
- The contentious policy at the heart of Cliven Bundy's armed standoff with the government
- How to flirt, according to science
- The Warren Buffett formula: How you can get smarter
- This Japanese toilet should make Americans very worried
Subscribe to the Week