Chained CPI, Taxes, and Spending

In years past, Obama had offered to trim cost-of-living increases in Social Security and other benefit programs—known as chained CPI.  Not anymore.

The Obama administration also has taken to making this claim:

Social Security has not contributed one penny to the deficit.

This, of course, is mendaciously false—it’s government spending, and the government is spending more than it takes in.  The only thing is the bookkeeping fiction that it’s off-budget, and so (so the claim goes) that deficit spending doesn’t exist.  But this meme depends on a carefully distorted definition of the official “deficit”—that of being only an on-the-books deficit, and not including the off-the-books spending that is Social Security (and Medicare).

But, maybe Obama would reconsider.

“The president was willing to step forward and put on the table a concrete proposal.  Unfortunately Republicans refused to even consider the possibility of raising some revenue by closing some loopholes that benefit only the wealthy and well connected,” [White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh] Earnest said.  Officials said Thursday that those potential reductions in spending, included in last year’s Obama budget, had been designed to initiate negotiations with Republicans over how to reduce future deficits and the nation’s debt.  But Republicans never accepted Obama’s calls for higher tax revenue to go along with the cuts.

Never mind that the only legitimate uses of closing loopholes are two: to reduce tax rates, and to pay down the national debt.

Beyond that, government doesn’t need more tax revenue; although it would get more, even at lower tax rates, if it got out of the way of the economy and let that grow.  Government needs to cut pending to below collected tax revenue, and it needs to use the increased revenue from loophole closing (all loopholes, including, say, tax credits for “green” energy boondoggles, not just those convenient to Democrats) to reduce tax rates even further—and then keep that tighter lid on spending.

[Obama’s latest budget proposal] says deficits as a share of the economy will be below 2% after 2025.

In other words, Obama continues to ignore our out of control national debt, since those deficits can only continue to add to the debt.

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