Today, Senator Conrad unveiled his plan to reduce the deficit by calling for a massive tax increase. As Leader Cantor has made clear, raising taxes is a non-starter.
Dem Budget Chief Wants Spending Cuts, Tax Hike In Deficit Deal
May 10, 2011
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) on Tuesday presented a budget proposal to Senate Democrats that calls for an even balance — 50 percent to 50 percent — of spending cuts and tax increases to reduce the deficit.
The emerging consensus on Capitol Hill is that there needs to be at least $4 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years. To meet that goal, Congress would have to increase tax revenues by $2 trillion over the next decade to achieve an even balance with spending cuts.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said “$4 trillion is a number that has been floated around here because that’s what the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan came up with,” making reference to the fiscal commission established by President Obama.
“We’re looking at large amounts of money that we have to work toward saving,” said Reid. “But it can’t all be done by cutting domestic discretionary spending.”
Reid said “what Sen. Conrad presented to the caucus today is 50-50”, when asked about what should be the ratio of spending cuts to tax increases.
Conrad has moved his budget proposal to the left in order to gain the support of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), an outspoken progressive on the budget panel. Sanders has called for “shared sacrifice” in reducing the deficit and wants to increase taxes on families earning over a million dollars a year.
Republicans have repeatedly argued that taxes do not need to be increased because Washington has a spending problem, not a revenue problem, according to the talking points echoed by many conservative lawmakers.