(This is a long one...).
Last November, millions of Americans voted for change. Unfortunately, Bucks County voters did not know that Patrick Murphy would help usher in a new budget unlike anything our nation has seen since the 1970s.OK, this is one of the first pieces of utter misinformation from Petrille. Patrick Murphy is NOT a member of the U.S. House Democratic leadership. He is a freshman Democratic representative from the 8th district of Pennsylvania (responsible for only his own vote - ???). He has a higher profile than most, I’ll admit, but that is all he is.
The Democrats’ 2008 budget sets off a vicious cycle of higher taxes fueling higher spending and greater spending demands – which in turn will trigger even more tax hikes, followed by more spending. As a member of Democratic leadership, Murphy is responsible for finding the votes to ensure these massive tax increases become law.
Also, this takes you to information on the House and Senate FY 2008 budget. As the article notes, it is customary for the president to submit a request before Congress and then let Congress hammer out the details. Bush requested a $2.9 trillion budget in February of this year, and the House and Senate delivered a budget in that amount that provides more in discretionary spending, including children’s and veterans’ health care and education.
The budget will raise taxes by at least $219 billion – the second largest tax increase in American history, according to a report issued by the Republican Caucus’ The Committee On The Budget. It also contains a “trigger” tax hike, which automatically raises taxes even higher, if surpluses do not materialize, the committee reported.I found nothing online to substantiate that $219 billion in new taxes number (not surprising, I guess, considering that it came from a Republican Party source). I also found nothing online about tax hikes that trigger new tax hikes, or something (as you’ll see, that language is all over the place here).
Ironically, surpluses will be wholly dependent on Democratic spending plans.What is ironic about that? It sounds like it makes basic financial sense.
The budget promises immense new spending, and delays any entitlement reform for at least five years, while failing to protect the Social Security surplus.Concerning Social Security, this tells you that both parties have been raiding the trust fund to justify the fallacy that tax cuts provide economic growth to the point where we don’t need that baaaad “big government” to do anything. Al Gore, however, proposed putting the Social Security fund in a “lockbox” in 2000 and was promptly ridiculed (looking back on that election, I wonder if there was anything Al Gore didn’t do or say…or not say about the Internet…that was ridiculed by Bushco and its corporate media stooges?).
It does nothing to address unsustainable levels of entitlement spending and abandons the “emergency reserve” fund for situations such as Katrina. It also abandons any definition limiting what constitutes an emergency.By the way, a Google search for “emergency reserve” within the context of the U.S. budget yields nothing, and I have no idea what Petrille’s statement about “abandon(ing) any definition limiting what constitutes an emergency” means.
No income tax will stay at current levels. Marginal rates, capital gains rates, dividend taxes and other rates will increase. Tax increases will affect every American who pays income taxes, and even those who currently do not. The combined tax increases would create the largest tax hike in American history. In addition, Democrats may raise taxes further to pay for their more than $190 billion in additional, unfunded, (sic) spending promises, including a massive increase in domestic spending.A lot of this sounds like it’s coming straight from the Heritage Foundation, so I think we should just consider the source.
Also, at this point, I two questions for Guy Petroziello, the editorial page editor of the Courier Times:
First, I noticed that a lot of Petrille’s copy includes italics for emphasis. I was always told that any style deviations like that weren’t allowed in Guest Opinions (bold, underscore, etc.).
Second, I tried for three days to find a link to this from phillyburbs.com and was unable to retrieve one, despite the fact that your paper (commendably) publishes Guest Opinions online. I find this one to be a curious omission. Given how erroneous it is, did you have second thoughts about actually publishing it in print form?
While Democratic leadership claims to maintain certain politically popular tax cuts, their trigger automatically reinstates the marriage penalty and cuts the child tax credit in half. Families will suffer. Mr. Murphy and I have daughters born about a month apart, yet I do not have the benefit of a $165,000 salary, along with a $100,000 advance on a book deal, with which to pay these onerous taxes, as he does.What a cheap shot, you bastard! And by the way, freeper, Patrick’s book deal is perfectly legal.
And at least now I know where Petrille got some of this (from a Repug source, of course).
The problem for Petrille, though, is that the non-partisan Washington Budget Report tells a different story of the '08 budget (here), including extension of “middle class tax relief” including marriage penalty relief, as well as maintaining the child credit, adoption tax credit, and 10% bracket; also estate tax relief (setting estate taxes at 2009 level, i.e. 45% rate and $3.5 million exemption), contingent on the following: (1) identifying PAYGO offsets; and (2) including statutory “trigger” language in the tax legislation allowing it to take effect only if OMB/Treasury certify that sufficient surpluses materialize.
So it sounds like all new tax cuts and entitlement increases be paid for by offsetting taxes, spending cuts elsewhere in the budget (which is what PAYGO is all about; Petrille will attack that shortly), as well as the fact that Petrille’s dreaded “triggers” would only kick in in the event of budget surpluses.
I’m no economist, but all of this somehow makes sense to me.
Having preened about their pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) spending “discipline” they adopted in January, the Democrats’ budget fails to comply with the PAYGO rule. Contrary to their rule, any tax cuts will be financed out of budget surpluses, and not with new savings.Can someone please explain the difference between “budget surpluses” and “new savings”?
Given the massive amounts of proposed new spending, along with an economic contraction resulting from the tax increases…Economic contraction”? Oh, so Petrille has a crystal ball now? He can look into the future and predict economic downturns? Amazing!
…there is almost no likelihood Americans will receive any tax relief whatsoever, as long as Murphy and the Democrats are in power.Oh yeah, I remember that “benefit.” We saw a check for about $400 from the first round of tax cuts and nothing after that. Meanwhile, the investor class made off like thieves (which, in fact, many of them are).
By contrast, the proposed Republican budget provided a surplus large enough to protect Social Security’s cash surpluses by controlling spending and not raising taxes. In 2001, under Republican leadership, every American who paid income taxes received a tax break. Small business owners, the elderly, married couples, college students and middle class families benefited from the Republican economic plan of the last decade.
And I’m tired of hearing Republicans preach about how they are supposedly “the party of fiscal responsibility,” by the way. As this Think Progress link notes, these clowns simply walked away from 9 of 11 spending bills that had to be passed by the 109th Congress last November when they found out that they’d been booted out of power in favor of the Democrats (and this indicates some of the difficult decisions the 110th Dem Congress was faced with partly as a result of that).
Now, Murphy wants to reverse that trend, even at the expense of our economic expansion.Economic expansion, huh? Read this, Petrille.
As a member of Democratic leadership, Murphy is failing his constituents. He is attacking the very tax cuts that have kept unemployment at historic lows.Oh, and regarding those tax cuts...
And here’s some information on that; as you can see, the trend in unemployment during the Clinton years was downward from 7.3 to 4.2 percent, while Bush’s trend reflects upward from 4.2 to 4.7 percent (and I actually think that’s kind based on massaged numbers from Elaine Chao’s Department of Labor).
Here’s are more telling numbers for me, though; as you can also see under “non-farm employment,” Clinton added 22 million jobs while Bush only added 3 million which, as the article notes, is the worst record of job creation by a president in 70 years.
His budget does nothing to control entitlement spending and continues the raid on Social Security. His cohorts in Democratic leadership brag about ending tax cuts for the rich, but artfully hide the fact that all taxpayers will pay for their spending plans.How dare Petrille even imagine that he can charge Murphy and the Democrats with leaving a legacy of debt when Dubya and the Repugs, thanks to their catastrophic fiscal irresponsibility, have left a debt of about $30K for every man, woman and child in this country!
This is not the type of change Bucks County wanted, and Murphy must be accountable for it. During the campaign, Murphy was asked whether there were any areas he disagreed with (sic) Democratic leadership. His answer was, “Nothing comes to mind.” “Nothing” is exactly what Murphy has given Bucks County regarding true spending reform. He has done nothing to ensure his constituents’ taxes remain at current levels. In addition, he did nothing to help Tullytown Councilman Joe Shellenberger retain his right to vote on council issues while serving our country in Afghanistan…That’s a lie (check the top of column three here – sorry it’s oversized)…
…and he has done little to ensure Bucks County veterans get a national veterans cemetery at Dolington.Another lie…
How much longer can we handle Murphy doing little for Bucks County and a lot for Washington Democrats?This is sickening freeper crap even by the standards of what appears in the Bucks County Courier Times. And I just checked again to see if it was available online from phillyburbs, and it was not (dated 7/20).
The fact that this even saw the light of day in print form is tantamount to scurrilous journalistic irresponsibility (I’m using flowery language a bit as opposed to guttural profanity, which, truth be told, better reflects the way I really feel about this).
And by the way, here is more economic information from the reality-based community, in reponse to propaganda from David Brooks (surprised?) in today's New York Times.