Replaying the same old song. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner was interviewed this morning on CNBC and one of the discussions was taxes. He thinks fortunate Americans should pay more, but the press never asks how much more would be enough.
During the interview (video & transcript), Geithner was asked the following.
Interviewer: Mr. Secretary, one more thing, you’ve proposed, what, $2.1 trillion in gross revenues that the president has in 2022 in the budget. And yet it seems like almost all the additional revenue is taken up with additional spending. Where’s the real deficit reduction?
Geithner: That’s not the fair way to judge the net impact of the president’s proposals. The president proposed $4 trillion in deficit reduction over a ten-year period. that’s $3 trillion on top of the agreements we reached last august to cap the rate of growth in defense and nondefense discretionary spending. And that additional 3 trillion deficit reduction comes with a balanced mix of revenues for tax reform.
About half is through tax reform revenues and through hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars in savings across the programs of the government from farm subsidies to even medicare and medicaid reforms. And if congress were to enact those proposals, then we would put the U.S. much closer to a sustainable fiscal position for the next decade and that would make broader confidence in the american economy stronger.
So, it’s a balanced package. It’s roughly 2 1/2 spending cuts for every dollar of revenue increases. Of the incremental $3 trillion that we haven’t already locked in, about half in revenues and half in spending cuts. It’s a balance.
Lies! There are no spending cuts! The total outlays keep going up and up … I’m not blind, I can read. Geithner continues, with my emphasis in bold.
Why is that the case? Because if you don’t try to generate more revenues through tax reform, if you don’t ask, you know, the most fortunate americans to bear a slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American, then you have to — the only way to achieve fiscal sustainability is through unacceptably deep cuts in benefits for middle-class seniors or unacceptably deep cuts in national security or unacceptably deep cuts in things that are very important to how we grow in the future like infrastructure or education or innovation.
Outright threats to seniors, national security, and education. That’s right out of the game plan for every Democrat from Washington, D.C. to your local town council. I’m sick of the threats, they have been all used up.
In 2006 and and 2011 the federal government total outlays on-budget were $2.23 trillion and $3.1 trillion respectively. Total outlays were $2.65 trillion and $3.6 trillion. That’s an increase of 36 percent in just 5 years.
Just from 2008 to 2009, the federal budget total outlays on-budget skyrocketed 20 percent.
And the White House OMB estimates federal spending on budget will grow another 12 percent between 2012 and 2017. Of course, if Democrats and liberals have their way, it will be a lot more than that, and Geithner thinks the most fortunate Americans should bear a “slightly larger burden of the privilege of being an American.”
I’ve discussed this over and over again. How much more do you think you can get? The president’s Buffett Rule optimistically estimates the extra revenue generated would be between $35 billion and $50 billion. With total outlays in 2013 estimated to be $3.8 trillion, $50 billion amounts to a rounding error … about 1 percent or so.
Were we unable to educate our kids five short years ago? How about provide for the national defense? Were seniors dying in the streets? Mr. Geithner, I challenge you, the president and all members of Congress to do better. To do right. Don’t feed us lies.
In the meantime, the Democrat-controlled Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) continue to leave more than 20 pieces of legislation – that will improve the nation’s economy and have been passed by the House – in limbo and won’t act on them. They won’t even present their own budget.
Click here to pick up the video interview at the point of the transcript above.
Update: I had originally spelled Geithner’s last name incorrectly, and I thought I fixed them all when I published, but I must have did a find and replace and still used the wrong spelling.