The Free Press, Mankato, MN


August 30, 2008

Our View: Candidates need plans to pay for their plans

There is perhaps nothing more fundamental about good money management — by the government or by a family — than being able to pay for what you buy.

That’s why it’s disappointing that neither Barack Obama nor John McCain have realistic and credible plans to pay for the tax cuts they’re promising. McCain would like to not only extend the Bush tax cuts of 2001 to everyone, but also cut the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 25 percent and add a few other extras at a cost estimated to be $500 billion a year, according to The Wall Street Journal.

McCain says he can provide the tax cuts and balance the budget by the end of his first term, relying on economic growth in the economy, and keeping federal spending growth to 2.4 percent, including a one year freeze on all discretionary spending, usually one-third of total budget, or about $1 trillion.

But a report from the U.S. Treasury said economic growth since the Bush tax cuts of 2001 have barely paid for 10 percent of the cost. Freezing discretionary spending seems unrealistic, given the interest groups involved in myriad programs.

Obama's tax cuts to middle class will cost $85 billion. He would pay for it by raising the capital gains tax to at least 20 percent from the current 15 percent and closing corporate tax loopholes. He would extend Bush tax cuts to those with incomes under $250,000 but he doesn’t say how he would pay for it, according to The Journal.

The nonpartisan Concord Coalition says both candidates want to exempt their tax cut ideas from Congressional Paygo rules that require any new spending or new tax cuts to be offset by other tax increases or spending cuts so as not to increase the federal deficit.

The stakes are too high for presidential candidates to be hoping good economic conditions bail them out of a federal budget situation that is growing further out of control each year. The Concord Coalition says today’s budget policies “burden taxpayers,” “raise interest expenses” make it tougher for businesses to expand and “increase our reliance on borrowing from other countries.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Spear smile.jpg Spear column: Hoffner case tested first and right rules

    The biggest news stories carry the biggest risk

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SCC leads the way on work ed The importance of higher education has never been more pronounced than with the changes occurring in our economy, especially in manufacturing. Bloomberg News noted that manufacturing accounts for 80 percent of our exports and for every one high-tech

    April 20, 2014

  • Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park. When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboa

    April 19, 2014

  • Our View: Make course evaluations public There's been a considerable and legitimate debate over the years about whether students at a public university should have access to teacher and course evaluations. Whenever there is a legitimate debate, it's hard to be in favor of less information a

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View: Drawing the line after Ukraine Why it matters: Tensions are ramping up once more as Russia tries to dictate to Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014

  • Our View: Costs key in health care access While more uninsured got coverage, costs must be controlled to sustain programs

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View: Saving lives trumps booking drug users Changes to the drug laws would save lives of those who overdose

    April 15, 2014

  • Pay attention! Distraction a problem A few years ago safety experts focused heavily on the dangers of people talking on cellphones while driving. Some states passed laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones in cars as a result. Today much attention is on motorists typing on tiny hand

    April 14, 2014

  • DEBATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA When Minnesota lawmakers return from their spring break, one of the issues they may face is medical marijuana. This has been kicked around too many times. We feel it deserves to be pushed from committee and debated on the floor. The issue has been tr

    April 13, 2014

  • Our View: Cities saved on garbage collection Mankato and North Mankato saved their taxpayers money by bidding on garbage service

    April 12, 2014