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E.J. Dionne | Progressives should teach conservatives about fiscal responsibility





The right thing is to bring back Bill Clinton’s tax rates on the well-off and then have a broad tax reform discussion next year. A similar logic applies to health care programs, as Jonathan Cohn suggested in The New Republic. Before making big cuts in Medicaid and Medicare, we need to see if the reforms in the Affordable Care Act can contain medical inflation.

The fiscal cliff creates an enormous opportunity to end an era in which it was never, ever permissible to raise taxes. In the pre-Grover days, conservatives believed passionately in pay-as-you-go government. A tough stand by progressives will make it easier for conservatives to return to the path of fiscal responsibility. 

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  • unseen1

    love  these people.   Clinton/Newt  balanced the budget  by  taking  30 year high  interest  bonds  and  reselling them  at 5 year low interest  and  by  capital gains  tax CUTS..   poof  couple  hundred  billion in interest  payments  gone +  coouple hundred  billlion in additional  rev  from the capitasl gains  tax  cuts    balanced budget.   Debt  went  up .  Bush’s  tax cuts  produced  almost   a trillion per  year in NEW rev.   The  gope and dems  in congress and  Bush  spent  that new  revenune  faster than it  came  in.   progressives of  any stripe  never   control  their  spending  so  it  doesn’t matter how much  revenue   you  bring  in  or  how much interest  you save on the debt.    The problem is  was and  forever will be spending.    Now this  guy  is   blowing the same  horn.  Let’s  get more revenue  wait on those cuts  no reason to cut  let’s  do  pay  as  you  go.  I.e  for  every  dolloar  of  new  spending  let’s add a  dollar of new  revenue.     or  in other  words let’s  return to the  era odf  tax  and spend  instead of Bush’s  era of  spend  and  borrow.    Notice there is  never a discussion of    tax  cuts  and  spending  cuts  at the same  time    wonder why? 

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