Fareed Zakaria: Ending Bush Tax Cuts Would Solve Budget Deficit
There are times when the idiocy oozing from the mouths of America's television commentators sickens me.
Consider Fareed Zakaria, who after telling NPR Friday, "CNN is getting smarter," actually said on the program bearing his name two days later that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire "would provide the federal government with $3.9 trillion in revenues over the next decade and basically solve the deficit problem" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
FAREED ZAKARIA: The most important difference between Greece and America is this -- America has many paths to solve its deficit problem. Were it to implement the Simpson-Bowles Deficit Reduction Plan, for example, it would instantly give America among the strongest public finances of any rich country.
Were Congress would simply allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, returning rates to where they were under Bill Clinton's presidency, when America created almost 25 million jobs. That one action would provide the federal government with $3.9 trillion in revenues over the next decade and basically solve the deficit problem. We would still face the long-term problem of entitlements, especially health care costs, like every other rich country, but the short and medium-term crisis would be over.
This is the same guy that told NPR Friday, "CNN is getting smarter, and you can feel it in the stories, you can feel it in the depth with which they're covered, the kinds of people in terms of guests who are brought on air, the way in which issues are discussed."
Well, we currently have a $1.5 trillion deficit. Assuming allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire would actually generate $390 billion in extra revenues without having a negative impact on the economy that resulted in lower receipts, the deficit would still be over $1.1 trillion.
It seems to me that either Zakaria doesn't understand simple arithmetic, or he's so in the tank for raising taxes that he's willing to intentionally misrepresent the benefit regardless of the absence of truth.
Whichever it is, this man is clearly unqualified to discuss budget matters on national television.
As he should also recuse himself from foreign policy issues due to his private meetings about such things with President Obama, one has to wonder what Zakaria should be allowed to talk about on his weekly program.
I'd suggest the weather, but he believes carbon dioxide is warming the planet.