Senate Democrats released their first budget blueprint in four years on Wednesday. Any budget-cutting muscles the Democrats possessed have clearly atrophied over the past half-decade. Not only does their budget add more than $7 trillion in new debt over the next decade, it does so even after hiking taxes by $1.5 trillion. Tax hikes and spending increases is not the "balanced approach" they promised the public.
In her opening statement at the Senate Budget Committee mark-up of the budget proposal, Sen. Patty Murray boasted that the plan raised federal revenue by $975 billion over the next ten years by "closing loopholes and cutting unfair spending in the tax code for those who need it the least."
"Spending in the tax code" is Democrat-speak for letting individuals deduct mortgage interest payments, charitable contributions and other items from their gross income when calculating their tax liability.
While raising taxes by almost $1 trillion seems bad enough, there is actually another more than $500 billion in tax hikes sprinkled throughout the Democrat's plan. There is another $100 billion in stimulus spending, offset by "closing loopholes and deductions." The plan also partially offsets the sequester cuts with $480 billion in new revenue, again from "closing loopholes and deductions."
Closing loopholes and deductions is the new go-to ATM for Democrats looking for new tax increases. In the end, however, a tax increase is a tax increase. Whether it is obtained from tax rate increases or limiting deductions, the added revenue is still being taken out of the private economy. It is still money no longer available for investment or economic growth.
Worse, the new revenue is simply fueling additional government spending, rather than paring down the debt. Even with this new revenue, the Democrat plan will require an additional $7 trillion in borrowing over the next decade, lifting the national debt above $24 trillion.
Eventually, even the "closing loopholes and deductions" well will run dry.
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