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December 09, 2005

Andrew Samwick Worries About Fiscal Policy

Andrew Samwick is not happy with the fiscal situation:

Vox Baby: A Forecast and a Budget: Last Thursday, the Administration released its economic forecast that will be used as the basis for its FY 2007 Budget, to be released early in 2006. See the actual forecast summary here, and a transcript of a conference call with CEA Member Matt Slaughter here....

Yesterday, the President was on the road to promote continued extension of some of the soon-to-sunset tax cuts. The ones in question pertain to the tax rates on dividends and capital gains. I find this whole discussion to be disheartening. The first order issue with tax policy is that we are not raising enough revenue to match our expenditures. Making the lower tax rates permanent just makes sure that we will permanently not have enough revenue to match our expenditures, unless we decide to lower expenditures by even more.

That brings us back to the FY 2007 budget. I would be much happier if the President spoke about which expenditures he will cut in that budget with the same specificity that he talks about which tax cuts he'd like to make permanent. Yesterday's road show was not a high point. Consider this:

Bush fell back on campaign-style rhetoric yesterday: "When you hear people say that we don't need to make the tax relief permanent, what they're really saying is, they're going to raise your taxes."

I'm prepared to be very unhappy come budget time.

I'm already unhappy. I think I can unhappy enough for at least five of us, all by myself. Andrew can, if he wants, spend budget time enjoying Winter Carnival...

And thanks to Matthew Slaughter for being willing to sit in the hot seat this fall and winter. It is appreciated.

Posted by DeLong at December 9, 2005 10:44 AM