The problem is too much spending
I am tired of hearing about “return to the Clinton tax rates.” Let’s look at reality in a simple way for the Tradlener detractors, as gleaned from data from OMB and the Tax Policy Center.
During the Clinton years, income tax rates ranged from 15 percent-39.6 percent. Now those same brackets, set to expire in January, are 10 percent-36 percent. If they expire, the ‘evil rich’ will have a 10 percent increase, from 36 percent back to 39.6 percent. The lowest rate, on the least of the “middle class,” will increase 50 percent, from 10 percent to 15 percent. Who gets hit the hardest?
But what do federal revenues and spending look like?
During the Clinton years, at the higher rates, federal revenue rose from $1.154 to $1.991 trillion and spending rose from $1.409 to $1.882 trillion. And there never was a balanced budget: The debt continued to rise by $1.4 trillion, even though we had no major disasters except for a tax surcharge imposed on luxuries, such as yachts and jewelry, to “soak the rich.” The yacht builders went out of business and the jewelers suffered likewise because the rich just bought and maintained their luxuries overseas.
During the Bush years, with the lower income tax rates, revenue rose from $1.991 to $2.524 trillion and spending rose from $1.882 to $2.982 trillion. And this with suffering through the 2001 attack and two major natural disasters.
The deficit trend under Obama has tripled through 2011, the latest data available,
So, if we leave the income tax rates where they are (and even in this sluggish economy the revenue was $2.303 trillion in 2011), but return to the last year of Clinton’s spending (2001) at $1.882 trillion, that would result in $500 billion surplus to start paying down the debt.
The problem is not too little revenue. The problem is too much spending, especially since so much of it unconstitutional. Call your representatives, call your senators, tell them to put an end to this unsustainable spending madness.