As far as fiscal policy goes, you really don’t need Talking Points so long as you keep up with with Paul Krugman’s ‘Reckonings’ column on The New York Times‘ Oped Page.
Sunday’s installment provides an important reality check for anybody who’s getting too excited about the rebuke the Senate gave the president last week — slicing his $1.6 trillion tax cut to $1.2 trillion.
Unlike many of my friends, I’m quite happy to give Tom Daschle & Company real credit for succeeding at the art of the possible. Accomplishing even this was a major feat — given that the filibuster is not available for tax and budget bills. And keeping all but one Democrat on board involved exceptional legislative skill on Daschle’s part.
But, look, the real problem is that they only have fifty votes. And unless and until they get a few Republicans to work with them, there’s just not that much they can do.
So, a great effort. But their power is just very limited. And as Krugman points out even a $1.2 tax cut — organized along Bush’s lines — is still a disaster.
What’s so important about Krugman’s piece today is his willingness to state the obvious in unambiguous terms: the Bush tax cut package is premised on a bundle of lies, half-truths, and evasions. There is really no other candid way to put it. The cuts which go to the average family are paltry. The cuts it provides for the very wealthy are great. The danger it poses to the future solvency of Social Security and Medicare is profound. And if you’re thinking about a prescription drug benefit under Medicare any time soon, well, you can just forget it.
Read the article. You’ll be glad you did.