Chaffetz: We fundamentally do not believe we’re just one good tax increase away from prosperity

posted at 3:06 pm on March 11, 2013 by Erika Johnsen

The House GOP is set to unveil their budget proposal this week, which, as Rep. Paul Ryan indicated on Fox News Sunday, plans to balance the budget in ten years. On CNN Monday morning, Rep. Jason Chaffetz was also looking to get out in front of some of the inevitable criticisms that will come from the left (h/t NRO):

Chaffetz: I do believe that there is common ground in getting rid of a lot of these loopholes, I really do. But we want to broaden the base, and lower the rate. We fundamentally don’t believe that we’re just one good tax increase away from prosperity in this country. … I think the fundamental question for the Democrats, what I have for the president and Chuck Schumer and others, is, should we at some point balance our budget? And if you’re going to do so, how are you going to do that? Because, at least we’re putting something on paper and introducing it, the Democrats haven’t done that in the Senate now for four years. …

Bonnie Fuller: Who says that we have to balance the budget? Lots of economists say that we don’t, that this is a complete and utter waste of time, that it’s much better to get the economy moving so that more people are employed, you bring in more revenues, instead of trying to cut, cut cut. And besides, even talking about households, how many household today have balanced budgets? Most of us carry debt, we’ve got to send our children to college, we as families have to make investments in our future. Why would you be spending all this time obsessing about trying to balance the budget. And by the way, you lost the election…

Chaffetz: I actually won, that’s why I’m sitting here. … You’re making the case that scares the living daylights out of me. Because, continuing to spend in perpetuity, without any regard for our future and our finances, and putting this all on the backs of kids, at some point, somebody’s going to have to pay the $16 trillion. You just can’t spend into infinity without eventually, sometime, balancing your books.

Ah yes, the old “even trying to balance the budget is just a dumb idea anyway” line of attack. The biggest problem with applying the “even households don’t have balanced budgets” argument is that families cannot take out student loans or housing loans or what have you without explicit plans for paying those loans back. All of those agreements come with payment plans, interest accrual, and finite deadlines, and the consequences of going delinquent largely mean that you are going to have a heck of a lot of trouble acquiring a loan the next time you need one because you have no credibility. Sure, families make “investments” in their future — with the complete understanding that they’re on a timeline for repayment. As Chaffetz rejoins, all of this spending into infinity cannot go on forever — it really is just that simple.

It is not an accident that President Obama’s favorite budget-related term is “balanced approach.” The term balance is deliberately meant to come across as a soothing and reassuring implication that everything will equal out in the end, but all he really means is including even more revenue increases in the ostensible attempt to bring down our deficits. Bringing down our deficits, and balancing our budget, are definitively not the same thing.

Update: Exhibit A.


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Oh, for sure, someone’s gonna be more prosperous from just one good tax increase. Go for it.

hawkeye54 on March 11, 2013 at 3:08 PM

“Viva Mexico”.

Thats what I’m talking about to replace Nancy Pelosi.

http://www.elimparcial.com/EdicionEnlinea/Notas/Nacional/09022013/668601.aspx

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 3:10 PM

I think the fundamental question for the Democrats, what I have for the president and Chuck Schumer and others, is, should we at some point balance our budget?

Not addressing Pensions(SS) and Healthcare is fatal.

tom daschle concerned on March 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

It’s the Senate democrat’s budget proposal that’s plugging up the toilet.

locomotivebreath1901 on March 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

Open Borders just enough.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on March 11, 2013 at 3:13 PM

How stupid can you be…?

“Bonnie Fuller: Who says that we have to balance the budget? Lots of economists say that we don’t,”

Show me the “economist” who says we don’t need a balanced budget.
Then later on when she cackled “And by the way, you lost the election…” that of course means that she thinks Democrats now own the truth and they can define it any way they want.

NeoKong on March 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

And by the way, you lost the election…

I’m sure we can just tell our creditors, “But the side that says we don’t need to pay you back won the election” and they’ll just say, “Alright then.”

CDeb on March 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Another difference between household and government debt is that I can’t force my neighbor to help me pay my debts if I take on more than I can pay back. Nor can I force my employer to pay me more if my debt levels get too high.

Charlemagne on March 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Bonnie Fuller: Who says that we have to balance the budget? Lots of economists say that we don’t, that this is a complete and utter waste of time

I thought the whole reason we were talking about raising taxes was to close the deficit. If it is a complete and utter waste of time to balance the budget (I’m looking at you Paul Krugman) why all the talk about raising revenues?

rogaineguy on March 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM

“And by the way, you lost the election. And we want Obamacare.”

Ugly, self-righteous hag. Way to show your hand….

Polish Rifle on March 11, 2013 at 3:30 PM

Not addressing Pensions(SS) and Healthcare is fatal.

tom daschle concerned on March 11, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I was in a meeting last Wednesday that included several city officials including my city district councilman and an at-large coucilman. We were able to submit questions and my CC called me last because he knew what my question was about (as he had actually solicited me by e-mail two days earlier). I got to the mic and gave a little back ground about the city’s $5.3 billion debt as reported in November 2011. The 5.3 represented $2.3 billion in unfunded pension costs and $3 billion in post retirment healthcare benefits that were unfunded.

My question was “With the recent statement by the mayor as published in the Chronicle that we had reduced the employee retirement debt to $2.8 billion, have we actually increased the pension debt by $500 million and shunted the health care costs off to ObamaCare?”

They would not answer, told me they would get back to me, they were working through that issue, blah, blah, blah. The at large guy tried to snow me with distractions after the meeting ended pretty much right then. Pretty much like a dem health care townhall from 2010. Chaos when confronted.

DanMan on March 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

I’ll believe the altruistic intentions of the political pigs in perpetuity [in Congress and the White House] called “Democrats” – both their Statist policies and their taxation policies – when every filthy one of them hands over every filthy cent of his/her earnings and savings, and every filthy bit of his/her personal and real property, to the State, for redistribution by the State.

[Tapping foot on floor and drumming fingers on desk - in wait]

OhEssYouCowboys on March 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

And by the way, you lost the election…

Why “by the way” at the end? Why not just say it first? Because that’s all you really want to say or have to say. “Shut up, you lost.” Your argument has no greater depth or logic. You’re arguing against fiscal responsibility in the total absence of evidence or proof that your alternative works. It doesn’t work. It isn’t working. In fact, you lost the empirical election a long time ago.

rrpjr on March 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Questions for Keynesians: If debt doesn’t matter, why not forget taxes and simply borrow the whole shebang? And if debts that can’t be paid don’t matter, then why was there a financial crisis in 2008?
I also like Peter Schiff’s line: Trying to spend our way to prosperity is as successful as trying to drink our way to sobriety.

SJoel on March 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

And by the way, you lost the election…

Funny thing about reality….

It doesn’t need to win elections.

CDeb on March 11, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Bonnie Fuller … moron extraordinaire.

Chaffetz should have called her an idiot right to her face.

darwin on March 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

DanMan on March 11, 2013 at 3:32 PM

Did you tell them it was criminal for them to be so negligent?

tom daschle concerned on March 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

As much as I hate taxes, they are not the primary cause of our economic malaise. Hands down the problem is regulation… and it’s not even close. Burdensome regulation and prosperity can simply not coexist…

Regulation vs. Prosperity… America goes gently into that good night

http://www.Imperfectamerica.com

imperfectamerica on March 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

Did you tell them it was criminal for them to be so negligent?

tom daschle concerned on March 11, 2013 at 3:35 PM

Well since I’m the only one even asking the questions it’s a bit tough to draw conclusions with no answers but that response last week was telling. It will get some play though.

DanMan on March 11, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Fuller has been responsible for several American magazine titles, including as vice president and editorial director of American Media (Star, Shape, Men’s Fitness, Natural Health, and Fit Pregnancy).

She was editor of Flare magazine, YM magazine, the first US edition of Marie Claire magazine, Cosmopolitan magazine, Glamour magazine, and Us Weekly. In July 2009 she was hired by Jay Penske’s Mail.com Media to relaunch HollywoodLife.com, a celebrity news site.

Quite the who’s who of low information media, as quoted from the wikitubes. Why does the low information CNN have her on as some kind of expert on the economy?

MNHawk on March 11, 2013 at 3:46 PM

Fuller has been responsible for several American magazine titles, including as vice president and editorial director of American Media (Star, Shape, Men’s Fitness, Natural Health, and Fit Pregnancy).

And yet, she’s an idiot. Who would have guessed?

rrpjr on March 11, 2013 at 3:58 PM

rogaineguy on March 11, 2013 at 3:29 PM

Good one.

Mirimichi on March 11, 2013 at 4:04 PM

Why is a “balanced budget” the goal? Why not aim a little higher?

Neo-con Artist on March 11, 2013 at 4:15 PM

Chaffetz: I actually won, that’s why I’m sitting here.

Yes. Republicans won the power of the purse. Don’t forget it, Dems.

cptacek on March 11, 2013 at 4:17 PM

He’s right. It will take 2 good tax increases to get us to prosperity. We just aren’t sure which ones or how much. We better enact many different taxes at a high rate, just to make sure we get it right.

tdarrington on March 11, 2013 at 4:31 PM

Then later on when she cackled “And by the way, you lost the election…” that of course means that she thinks Democrats now own the truth and they can define it any way they want.

NeoKong on March 11, 2013 at 3:23 PM

The stupid is really strong with that one.

Just one more reason not to watch CNN (as if we needed another reason).

UltimateBob on March 11, 2013 at 4:33 PM

If borrowing 1.3 trillion per year is no big deal, why not borrow 10 trillion/year and send every citizen a $30,000 check annually? Poverty solved.

tdarrington on March 11, 2013 at 4:40 PM

As much as I hate taxes, they are not the primary cause of our economic malaise. Hands down the problem is regulation… and it’s not even close. Burdensome regulation and prosperity can simply not coexist…

Regulation vs. Prosperity… America goes gently into that good night

http://www.Imperfectamerica.com

imperfectamerica on March 11, 2013 at 3:40 PM

The way I see it, there are 3 major causes for our current economic malaise (in no particular order):

Taxes
Regulation
Monetary Policy (Inflation)

UltimateBob on March 11, 2013 at 4:42 PM

Can we start doing the following whenever we talk legislators and the president: PUL EESE (please) use the party designation with every pollution – D = Democrat, R = Republican. While regular readers of this site and others may know ALL Ds and Rs, others don’t.

By assuming that readers know all party affiliation, well, we don’t. I couldn’t name offhand the party affiliation of the 435 members of the House of Representatives.

Who knows, maybe Republicans would actually change some minds if they showed how often it’s the Democrats who mess up everything they touch. Phony R, Bloomberg, is the major exception.

Thank you.

MN J on March 11, 2013 at 6:14 PM

If borrowing 1.3 trillion per year is no big deal, why not borrow 10 trillion/year and send every citizen a $30,000 check annually? Poverty solved.

Sounds good to me, as long as its tax free.

hawkeye54 on March 11, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Bonnie Fuller used to edit Star Magazine. WTF is she doing on a panel with Chaffetz?

NealK on March 11, 2013 at 8:02 PM

It is not an accident that President Obama’s favorite budget-related term is “balanced approach.”

Second favorite. I believe the favorite term is “investments.” He breaks it out even when the budget is not being discussed.

Because, you know, you’re not spending money if you’re investing. Somehow.

Good for Chaffetz to shoot down the moronic attempt to claim that Obama’s reelection means that all Republicans therefore lost their own elections. As if a Congressman no longer has the right to represent the people who voted for him because the president is from another political party.

Even though the last election didn’t turn out at all like I wanted it to, there were still more Republicans who won election in 2012 than Democrats.

tom on March 11, 2013 at 8:22 PM

The problem with a budget that overspends at a rate of about 6% of GDP (roughly $1 trillion a year) is that economic growth would have to be greater than 6% a year, perhaps a lot greater, if you want to play the game of economic growth [if it can be sustained] will [eventually] make the deficit a minor annoyance. The problem is that historical growth has been 3-4% and currently growth may run about, what, 1-2% at best? We don’t have China’s growth rate of 8-9% and even they are starting to have some problems all their own.

This deficit spending in times of low economic growth may be supportable, for awhile, if the US were starting at zero or very low debt levels, but is not the case now. Once the world gets the idea that the US is not really going to solve its problems with spending anytime soon and starts to worry that maybe the US will spend itself into a kind of Greece or perhaps go the Weimar route, they will want more money to compensate them for the risks the US runs. That could be a real killer.

Russ808 on March 11, 2013 at 9:02 PM