McLenaghan: Tough, taxing decisions await Congress

When Congress returns to Washington in September, one of the most important issues members will face will be how to address the coming expiration of several major tax policy changes implemented over the last decade.

North Carolina Budget & Tax Center policy analyst Edwin McLenaghan believes it makes sense for Congress to extend temporary improvements to tax credits for low- and moderate-income working families.

But when it comes to the Bus-era tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, he says allowing them to expire will help restore long-term solvency to federal finances. He argues extending the Bush income tax cuts for the wealthiest two percent would account for roughly $1 trillion in new federal debt over the next ten years.

McLenaghan, who is among our guests this weekend on News & Views, also dismisses the notion that extending the Bush tax cuts would encouraging more small-business owners to increase their payrolls and hire more workers. For a preview of McLenaghan’s interview with Chris Fitzsimon, please click below:


  1. […] efforts in Congress to extend several tax provisions that expired at the end of last year? …McLenaghan: Tough, taxing decisions await CongressThe Progressive Pulse (blog)all 2 news […]

  2. Alex Morris

    August 30, 2010 at 9:30 am

    One thing that struck me while reading these articles on various strategies for tax cuts, is the fact that most “progressives” do not either own, or have ever operated a business before. They have never struggled to make a payroll, or stayed up nights trying to make a business successful. In most cases, they have either dined at the public trough, or were funded indirectly by grants or donations.In fact , they have a particular disdain for business in general, so any solutions they propose have to pass the fairness doctrine first, and then have to involve government intervention, whether it helps small business or not. They produce no jobs,no economic activity, and their only product is thetoric. They have no idea whether their ideas will work, and most of the thinking comes from similar economists who are actually promoting a political agenda rather than an economic solution. With no business acumen, I take what they say with a grain of salt.

  3. Jeff Shaw

    August 30, 2010 at 11:34 am

    The most influential conservative economist of the 20th century, Milton Friedman, never owned or operated a business.

    It is good to know all the hours I spent reading him were wasted. I will go burn my copies of all his works.

    Likewise the works of Gregory Mankiw, Alan Greenspan, and virtually any other well-respected right economic figure. And don’t forget far-right faves F.A. Hayek and Joseph Schumpeter, none of whom ever had a business of their own, either.

    Warren Buffett, on the other hand is still in play, so that’s good for all of us.

    This new standard will save me lots of reading time. I had assumed that keeping up with the thought of intelligent people I disagree with was a worthwhile pursuit. But life is much easier when you can just dismiss things out of hand.

    Hence, my sincere thanks.

  4. Chris Hatfer

    August 30, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Alex is exactly right about getting more business types in the key government agencies. We’ve operated on theory and bureaucratic bungling for the last 15 years, and look where it has gotten us. Our manufacturing has declined rapidly, exports have fallen, jobs are continuing to be outsourced, and we are beginning to slip in many areas of our economy.It’s time for some action, and not more mindless rhetoric.

  5. Jeff Shaw

    August 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    It’s settled then: Warren Buffet should be appointed economy czar. Everyone should immediately stop listening to Milton Friedman, Alan Greenspan, and all of the “mindless” people Bush appointed, since he was president for most of the last 15 years.

    It’s great when we can come to consensus like this.

  6. Alex Morris

    August 30, 2010 at 2:41 pm

    I guess we leave it up to the two economic lightweights- Geithner and Bernanke. They’ve done a great job so far !

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