"The recently announced compromise to temporarily extend all of the Bush-era tax cuts only kicks the proverbial can down the road, making it increasingly hard to ever balance the federal budget.
...In his executive order creating the bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, President Obama tasked the commission to propose “recommendations designed to balance the budget, excluding interest payments on the debt, by 2015.”
...Fiscal responsibility in the federal budget requires making tough choices. If you cut one person’s taxes, then you must pay for those tax cuts by either increasing someone else’s taxes or by cutting spending. The proposal of the co-chairs of the President’s Fiscal Commission demonstrates the fiscal reality of extending the Bush-era tax cuts by listing the kinds of cuts that would be needed to pay for the extension.
...For the six years that the Republican Party held both Congress and the White House, they ...enacted $1.3 trillion in tax cuts in 2001 and another $350 billion in 2003 without offsets. They created a trillion dollar prescription drug entitlement program without paying for it.
We also shouldn’t forget that they financed two wars overseas with borrowed money.
...We need to make tough, unpopular choices – obviously letting tax cuts expire is unpopular. But when we ever get serious about the deficit, we will find that the realistic alternatives are even more unpopular.
...If we don’t have the political will to end the Bush-era tax cuts now by enacting a two-year extension of all the rates, we certainly won’t have the political will to do it during a presidential election. Accordingly, the reasonable choice Congress should make now is to allow the Bush-era tax cuts to expire as scheduled at the end of this year and try to restore fiscal sanity to our nation’s capital."
Robert C. “Bobby” Scott
3rd Congressional District of Virginia
Member of the House Budget Committee