Letters to the Editor

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TAXES: Cliff deal doesn’t ‘add to the deficit’

Letter by Josh Scribner, Buckley on Jan. 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm with No Comments »
January 11, 2013 1:12 pm

Re: “Reality reflects campaign distortions” (letter, 1-11)

The letter writer would do well to actually read the Congressional Budget Office report he references in his letter. He excoriates President Obama for wanting to raise taxes on the wealthy as a way to address our nation’s deficit, saying that the fiscal cliff deal “actually increases the deficit by $4 trillion (over 10 years). That is straight from the Congressional Budget Office.”

This is false. The CBO report clearly states that it arrived at its $3.9 trillion figure by starting at a baseline assumption that all Bush-era tax cuts would have expired on Jan. 1. Further, the report states that the cost of continuing all of the Bush tax cuts would have come at a total cost of $7.65 trillion added to the deficit over 10 years.

To simplify, according to the CBO:

• The cost of continuing all Bush tax cuts = $7.65 trillion added to the deficit.

• Savings through fiscal cliff tax increases above $450,000 = $3.75 trillion in deficit reduction.

The letter writer’s math was exactly backward. But he would have known this if he’d actually read the CBO report instead of just its headline.

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