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Most Americans support a mix of spending cuts and tax increases.

  1. Quilligrapher profile image87
    Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago

    From a CNN report GOP divide over Obama tax plan goes public, November 28, 2012:

    "A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday also showed that a solid majority of respondents -- two thirds -- supports the Democratic stance that any agreement should include a mix of spending cuts and tax increases. Of that total, Republicans favor such an approach by 52%-44%.

    "Another poll on Wednesday by ABC News and the Washington Post showed a strong majority favoring the Obama tax proposal to raise tax rates on the wealthy." {1}

    Allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would be a move in the right direction. Does the President's proposal to extend these tax cuts for most Americans, while allowing rates on the wealthiest 2% to increase to 1990s levels, increase his responsibility to offset the tax cuts with a larger amount of spending cuts?
    {1} http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/politics/ … ?hpt=hp_t2

    1. wilderness profile image96
      wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I have to wonder, of those that wanted tax increases, how many actually supported tax increases on themselves and how many referred to taxing only someone else?

      Re: tax increase and spending cuts - yes.  Give a politician a tax increase, any increase, without requiring a spending cut and all you will end up with is a larger budget.  They will simply spend the extra tax and then spend it again through a larger deficit.  Without a hard mandate to control spending it simply won't happen.  Mind you, it probably won't happen even with a mandate, but it most assuredly won't without a mandate.

    2. tammybarnette profile image60
      tammybarnetteposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      We keep hearing about the battle over the taxes, Republicans would rather close loop holes but at least aren't collectivilley banning the idea of a tax rate increase...but, we haven't heard much about the cuts? We all know that ss, medicare, and all entitlement programs are on the chopping block, but I haven't heard any details. I read Obama wants to cut back on military spending and administrative spending within. All spending cut discussions have been vague and I would like to hear more about this side of the arguement.

      1. Quilligrapher profile image87
        Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Good evening, Tammy.

        I, too, am looking forward to hearing some discussion about spending cuts. However, the President may want to prod economic confidence and December retail sales with a quick, post-election tax bill that extends the Bush cuts before they expire. Any spending cuts are sure to put a drag on the economy and will be a bitter pill few in Washington want to swallow.

        The President's latest tax proposal is likely to pass. If it does, it will represent a tax cut initiative in as much as tax rates would have otherwise returned to Clinton era levels without it. Should the President follow up with matching spending cuts if he is sincere about reducing the national debt and about encouraging compromise from the Congress? 

        1. tammybarnette profile image60
          tammybarnetteposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Hi Quill, Yes, I believe he should. I do think they must be very careful with the cuts however or we will surely slide back into recession. However, we do need to begin to behave more responsibly with our debt.

          1. Quilligrapher profile image87
            Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Hi there, Tammy.

            You and I and most of the country seems to feel this way too. I'm hoping the President will make the hard choices particularly since he does not have to run for re-election.

            1. tammybarnette profile image60
              tammybarnetteposted 3 years ago in reply to this

              Quill, Yes, I hope he will be the disciplinary parent,lol. We are never popular(disciplinary parents) but we are always respected. smile

    3. CivilistMike profile image60
      CivilistMikeposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Quill - From about a year ago, an average of 23 polls on this topic (raising taxes) came up with the same number you quote - 65% -  favor a tax increase as part of a balanced approach to  addressing the deficit.

      http://capitalgainsandgames.com/blog/br … ce-deficit

      A poll cited by the Wall Street Journal - from a  year ago - found that an even HIGHER percentage of millionaires - 68% - favored higher taxes on themselves than 'regular' poll respondents.

      http://blogs.wsj.com/wealth/2011/10/27/ … /?mod=e2tw

      I venture from fact to opinion. A 'mere' millionaire who made his own fortune is fully aware of  the role this society played in his success, be it infrastructure, an educated pool of workers, a political system of law , courts and police which were essential to his success. He's well aware that he needs to support the American system to protect and grow his self-made fortune.

      Civilism has the issue of Taxes and Budget distilled to a two-step process.

      First, CONGRESS needs to ask the people what services they expect the federal government to provide. This could be an ongoing online survey by the Census bureau .

      Second, Plan to raise the revenue you need to pay for what you plan to spend. Part of step two includes chucking the existing tax code with all it's complexities and loopholes and replacing it with a simple, equitable system with more tax brackets and fewer exemptions and deductions.

      It can be done, but not with a Congress that's a wholly-owned subsidiary of special interests.

  2. Mighty Mom profile image91
    Mighty Momposted 3 years ago

    The only way to get a deal is to compromise. That means on both sides.
    The Republicans have to give something up.
    The Democrats have to give something up.
    Which, neatly enough, turns out to be what the American people WANT their elected officials to do!
    Hope they're listening to us!
    I don't think Obama has any responsibility to do a 1-for-1 tradeoff, however.
    (For every additional tax dollar captured there does not have to be one dollar cut).


    1. Quilligrapher profile image87
      Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Howdy MM, Nice to see you.

      A wise lady I know once said, “The only way to get a deal is to compromise. That means on both sides.”

      The President’s proposal will maintain the Bush tax cuts for most Americans. How does he reduce the national debt AND maintain a posture of compromise if he does not match his own tax cutting policy with equivalent spending cuts?

    2. Repairguy47 profile image60
      Repairguy47posted 3 years ago in reply to this

      I don't want my elected officials to compromise. Sorry, you are wrong.

  3. Keith Sutherland1 profile image61
    Keith Sutherland1posted 3 years ago

    Closing loop holes is essentially a tax increase. I will use my small farm for instance. Feeds and such that I buy can be deducted. If that were to stop, that "loophole" closed, my taxes would increase. I am not totally against a small rise in my taxes if the government would actually use it properly. Sadly, politicians lack the ability of doing things right. That is a direct dig against both parties. I am willing to pay more as a percentage of my income if everyone has to do the same. I would prefer that it is matched, percentage wise, with cuts. If we are really all in this together as far as being a country as a whole, we should all, and I mean all, be willing to sacrifice to fix this mess our "leaders" have brought us to. Just my opinion of course.

    1. tammybarnette profile image60
      tammybarnetteposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Bravo smile

  4. maxoxam41 profile image79
    maxoxam41posted 3 years ago

    I support a big cut in the military budget, in the homeland, security department... and the highest increase possible in taxes for the elite, given that they abused the system.

    1. GA Anderson profile image86
      GA Andersonposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Do you have any constructive thoughts that aren't driven by vitriolic ideology?

      I have read many of your post responses - and none seem to carry the weight of a considered opinion or evaluation - all seem to be mantras of your anti-whatever mindset.

      Geesh, you make the effort to reply to so many threads - it would seem, (at least to me),  that once in a while you would have the balls to offer something other than sloganeering. Unless of course you have none, (balls that is)

      Heaven help anyone you consider to be "the elite." I really sense a severe case of class/wealth envy in you. How would you cope if by chance your efforts made you one of the elite.

      One of my greatest reads, which I have read several times over, is A Tale of Two Cities, and I can definitely see you as one of the "Defarges"


  5. Hollie Thomas profile image59
    Hollie Thomasposted 3 years ago

    Obviously i'm not an American, so please forgive my intrusion. But I was looking at spending projections for the US the other day (actually Wilderness it was when you and I were discussing welfare the other day) and I noticed the projections for the US military, boy, were they hefty!

    The US and UK are very different, so direct comparisons don't really offer us anything. However, I have to say that spending cuts alone without increasing taxation are pretty futile (take a look at the UK) And spending cuts which only effect the lower economic strata do not benefit business (take another look at the Uk, our position is comparable to that of Japan and consumer confidence is not great to say the least)

    The Uk Government had decided that tax cuts for the wealthiest echelons was the way forward. Only, I'm not seeing any jobs, and the treasury certainly isn't receiving the revenue it might.

    1. Quilligrapher profile image87
      Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hi Hollie. Hope you had a nice day.

      I am not a board-certified economist. (Is there such a status?) However, the consensus I find most reasonable calls for increases in revenue and major cuts in spending, including the Defense Dept., if this country is to achieve an operating surplus and a reduction of the national debt.

      I grow concerned when the Democratic Progressive Caucus declares a position from which they will not budge. The people do want this kind of grandstanding. The President does not want this either. A real sign of compromise will be if all programs in the budget see some trimming. Over zealous cuts can be restored in the future if needed. I do not expect much to be accomplished before the end of the year. The first day of business in 2013 will focus on changing House and Senate rules particularly the filibuster. Then, maybe, we will see some action on balancing the federal budget and reducing the national debt. roll

      1. Hollie Thomas profile image59
        Hollie Thomasposted 3 years ago in reply to this

        Hi Quill,

        Spending cuts and increased taxation sound sensible to me (although I'm not an economist, either) It's just that in the Uk we're seen tax cuts for a particular section of society and spending cuts which only really effect the working and middle classes. Not a very balanced scenario.

        I'd forgotten just how bad the filibuster thing is and the deadlock.

        1. wilderness profile image96
          wildernessposted 3 years ago in reply to this

          Seems to me that part of the problem is the scale of cuts, in both taxation and spending. 

          Say you want to cut taxes by 50 million dollars.  You can either cut $1 from 50 million middle class people, whereupon they take no notice and say you did nothing.  OR you can cut $50,000 from the taxes of 1000 people, whereupon they sing your praises to the heavens and "rebate" $10,000 each into your campaign fund.  As a politician, which do you choose?

          Cutting benefits gives the same scenario; if you cut $1 from the 47% it means nothing; they grumble a bit and go on with their lives.  Cut $50,000 from 1000 business receiving "help" and those business cry a river and some fold - no nice campaign contributions.

          Or am I just being snotty and assigning our great leaders attitudes they don't have (their job and income is more important than the country)?

          1. Quilligrapher profile image87
            Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

            Hello, Wilderness. I understand your skepticism about the motivations of politicians.

            I see the merit in holding taxes at current levels for the middle class at this time just to avoid destabilizing the economy. However, both tax increases and heavy handed spending cuts will be required over the long term if we are to see sustained budget surpluses and major reductions in the national debt. We can hope for a big dose of a Clinton-era kind of prosperity to reduce the pain but we would be foolish to count on it. I expect creeping tax increases and broad spending cuts if the country’s balance sheet is to improve.

  6. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Seems to me the timing of the changes in taxes and reductions in expenditures is critical because unemployment remains much too high. Therefore, for the time being stimulus is needed, not deficit reduction. Balancing the budget is important, longer term, once the economy is growing faster and unemployment has returned to more reasonable levels. Changes in Social Security have no place in the current cliff discussions.

    I think Obama is hoping the Republicans will propose drastic cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid, but they are reluctant to specify what cuts to entitlements the want.

  7. wordsmith32 profile image60
    wordsmith32posted 3 years ago

    I believe the best way to deal with the fiscal crisis in this country is to not totally do away with certain programs but instead of cutting them,  just privatize them.  This will not only cut government spending on them but it will open the door for job creation within these program and then the government could give a tax break to the entrepreneurs that take on these programs and keep them at affordable prices for all.  With more jobs and lower taxes at greater quantities overspending by the government can be curtailed.

    1. Quilligrapher profile image87
      Quilligrapherposted 3 years ago in reply to this

      Hi there, Wordsmith. Welcome back to HubPages!

      It is hard for me to judge if your approach will work. You have crammed a hellava lot of assumptions into one little paragraph.

      I guess, Wordsmith, we will have to wait for the drama in Washington to unfold.

  8. Ralph Deeds profile image69
    Ralph Deedsposted 3 years ago

    Paul Krugman in today's NY Times:

    "The Forgotten Millions

    Let’s get one thing straight: America is not facing a fiscal crisis. It is, however, still very much experiencing a job crisis.

    It’s easy to get confused about the fiscal thing, since everyone’s talking about the “fiscal cliff.” Indeed, one recent poll suggests that a large plurality of the public believes that the budget deficit will go up if we go off that cliff.

    In fact, of course, it’s just the opposite: The danger is that the deficit will come down too much, too fast. And the reasons that might happen are purely political; we may be about to slash spending and raise taxes not because markets demand it, but because Republicans have been using blackmail as a bargaining strategy, and the president seems ready to call their bluff.

    Moreover, despite years of warnings from the usual suspects about the dangers of deficits and debt, our government can borrow at incredibly low interest rates — interest rates on inflation-protected U.S. bonds are actually negative, so investors are paying our government to make use of their money. And don’t tell me that markets may suddenly turn on us. Remember, the U.S. government can’t run out of cash (it prints the stuff), so the worst that could happen would be a fall in the dollar, which wouldn’t be a terrible thing and might actually help the economy.

    Yet there is a whole industry built around the promotion of deficit panic. Lavishly funded corporate groups keep hyping the danger of government debt and the urgency of deficit reduction now now now — except that these same groups are suddenly warning against too much deficit reduction. No wonder the public is confused.

    Meanwhile, there is almost no organized pressure to deal with the terrible thing that is actually happening right now — namely, mass unemployment. Yes, we’ve made progress over the past year. But long-term unemployment remains at levels not seen since the Great Depression: as of October, 4.9 million Americans had been unemployed for more than six months, and 3.6 million had been out of work for more than a year... .

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/07/opini … ef=opinion

    Comment: Although the U.S. may not yet be experiencing a fiscal crisis I suspect Krugman agrees that there will be a future need to reduce the deficit and that now is a good time to agree on a combination of future tax revenue increases and expenditure reductions. That's my personal opinion, any way.