Monday, January 5, 2009

Budget Talk

Lots of noise about the upcoming stimulus package, of which almost half might come in the form of tax cuts (see digby, TPM, TPM again, yet more TPM, even more TPM, did I mention TPM, Kos, Ezra Klein, Yglesias, AmericaBlog, et al.). Assorted observations:
  • I'm really sick of the current frame when it comes to taxes, which suggests that the only thing government can do for a large swath of the American public is deliver Yet Another Tax Cut.
  • With 59 votes in the Senate, Democrats shouldn't have a problem passing anything; as long as the White House can corral one of the Midwestern or Northeastern Republicans (Snowe, Collins, Specter, Lugar, Voinovich, and Grassley), McConnell won't be able to control his caucus.
  • In the same vein, shooting for 80 Senate votes is just silly; the 20th most conservative Senator--someone like John Thune, Saxby Chambliss, or Larry Craig by DW-NOMINATE rankings--does not live in the Reality-Based Community.
  • An awful lot depends on the details, of which there are precious few. Clinton budgets frequently included tax credits for hiring new workers, though I have no idea how effective or ineffective they were. We'll have to see what Martin Ginsburg and company have to say about the final proposal.
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