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The federal debt is an issue that needs to be addressed. Virtually everyone agrees on this.

But how big of an issue? And how should it be addressed? These are questions that deserve more robust debate than they’re receiving. As evidence of this fact, check out these recent articles by two of the nation’s most astute economic observers in which debt worries are put in their rightful place. Read More

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The good people at Next New Deal are releasing a series of articles that explain in easy-to-understand terms the kinds of policies the Obama administration ought to pursue in its second term in order to restore prosperity and shrink the gap between haves and have nots.

Yesterday, in one of the better ones, Mark Schmitt spells out three principles for restoring progressive taxation that are worth your time to consider.

“Our current tax system is a toxic legacy of the George W. Bush years. It loomed over Obama’s first four years, Read More

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Tax wonk Chuck Marr of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities had an excellent post yesterday afternoon about the wisdom of letting income tax rates on the wealthy return to their Clinton-era levels. In it, he notes that even Wall Street favorite Robert Rubin is endorsing the idea. Read More

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In case you missed it last week, the wonks at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities had the latest math on which factors are principally responsible for U.S. debt and deficits. And while it comes as little surprise that the #1 cause remains George W. Bush’s  massive tax cuts, the starkness of it all is still impressive to behold. See that graphs below. 

Helluva’ job  Bushie! Read More

NC Budget and Tax Center

Earlier this week, the New York Times reported the efforts of a new bipartisan “gang” in the U.S. Senate to hammer out a framework for federal deficit reduction prior to the upcoming lame duck session of Congress. Along with grappling with long-term federal deficits, the gang is looking to address the looming fiscal challenges associated with the expiration of tax cuts passed under Presidents Bush and Obama and the threat of sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts to critical defense and non-defense programs set to begin taking effect in January.

While the broad outlines seem encouraging, particularly the commitment to finding new revenues through tax reform, there are some concerns in the emerging framework that need to be addressed.  Along with ensuring that Medicare and Social Security benefits remain stable, perhaps the most pressing issue involves the ways in which the gang actually plans to find these new revenues.

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