When Do We Get to the Revenue Half of Bowles-Simpson?

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Jared Bernstein makes a point today that’s worth repeating: Republicans have given a lot of love to the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan lately, but it turns out that we’ve already made a lot of the spending cuts in their plan. Here are the basic numbers:

  • Total discretionary spending cuts proposed: $2.1 trillion
  • Revenue increases proposed: $2.6 trillion
  • Discretionary spending cuts already passed in 2011: $1.5 trillion
  • What’s left: $0.6 trillion in discretionary spending cuts and $2.6 trillion in tax increases

This doesn’t count savings from interest on the debt, it doesn’t count reduced war expenses, it doesn’t count sequestration cuts scheduled for January 1, it doesn’t include entitlement cuts, and it’s not inflated by stimulus spending. These are apples-to-apples numbers on discretionary spending and revenue increases.

So we’ve already made pretty good progress on Bowles-Simpson’s discretionary spending cuts. Add in interest reductions and war cuts and we’ve made even more. But we’ve made no progress at all on the Bowles-Simpson revenue increases. When does that part of the plan get started?

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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