LET THE BUSH CUTS EXPIRE Mr. Obama vowed to let the high-end tax cuts (for people making more than $250,00) expire in 2010. But in a preview of the debt fight, he agreed to extend the cuts for two more years when Republicans held unemployment benefits and other measures hostage.
Letting all of the cuts expire at the end of 2012 would save $3.8 trillion over the next decade. Letting the tax cuts expire for those making more than $250,000 would save $700 billion. That would make a real dent in the $2.4 trillion in total deficit reduction envisioned in the debt limit deal.
A sensible and fair approach would be to let the high-end tax cuts expire as scheduled, but keep the other tax cuts for another year. That would keep more cash in the hands of people most likely to spend it and prop up consumer demand while the economy is weak. It would give Congress and the administration time to undertake tax reform.