James Pethokoukis

Politics and policy from inside Washington

The debate has shifted …

November 23, 2010

James Capretta is dead on:

But what’s really important about the last month is not that any reform plan is about to pass. It’s that the terms of the budget, entitlement and health care debates have shifted dramatically, and very likely on a permanent basis. The fundamental elements of the Ryan Roadmap are sweeping tax reform; changes in health care which emphasize a marketplace and consumer choice; and modifications to retirement programs that reflect demographic reality. All of these elements can now be found in budget plans endorsed by prominent Democrats, including Democrats the president himself turned to find solutions to the nation’s budget problems. Consequently, it will be much harder in the future for Democrats to demonize these ideas as they have tried to do in the past.

Comments

Well, spending cuts are necessary… but it’s really the revenue side that’s hurting right now, and that’s a direct reflection of the housing situation (granted 8m fewer workers paying taxes – because they have been let go in the recession – makes a difference but not nearly as much). I think that a new revenue stream has to be discovered; cleaning up the tax code will help a lot, but honestly I think the rich owe it to America to be willing to do their part… not the marginally rich, but those earning more than $2m per year. Cuts, yes absolutely, but more revenues too… BOTH need to happen or we just need to cross our fingers that the housing market will go to the moon again.

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