New York Times
November 23, 2003
Economic View: How to Make The Deficit Look Smaller Than It Is
Every year since 1983, workers have paid more in Social Security payroll taxes than Social Security has paid out to beneficiaries.
The surplus was supposed to be used to pay down the national debt. "That way, when the baby boomers are retired, our other
debt will be lower and we'll be in a better position to borrow funds to pay for benefits," said Richard Kogan, senior fellow
at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a liberal-leaning group in Washington.
In the past three years, President Bush and Congress have viewed the
Social Security surplus more as a cookie jar than a lockbox. ...
Using excess payroll taxes for unintended purposes masks the true size
of the operating deficit. ...
The reality will likely be far worse, especially if you factor in costs
that the White House doesn't include in its projections - like the $87 billion recently appropriated for the war, or the extension
of recently enacted tax cuts. ...
Daniel Gross writes the
Moneybox column for Slate.com.
© 2003 The New York Times Company
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
BUDGET PRIORITIES UNDER THE SENATE BUDGET PLAN
Senate-Passed Budget Plan Would Cut Taxes on the Wealthiest, Raise
Taxes on the Poorest Workers, Cut Most Domestic Discretionary Program Areas, and Likely Increase the Ranks of Those Without
Yet Proposal Would Increase, Rather than Reduce, Deficits
By Robert Greenstein, Richard Kogan, and Joel Friedman
Click here for the complete report summarized below-- http://www.cbpp.org/3-4-04bud.htm This includes a chart showing
year by year how the Senate plan substantially increases projected deficits.
NOTE: This report examines
the budget resolution as passed by the Senate on March 12. An amendment offered by Senator Russell Feingold, which the
Senate approved, would have the effect of requiring 60 votes on the Senate floor to pass the tax cuts contained in the budget
resolution, unless the tax cuts are accompanied by offsetting tax increases or entitlement reductions. (The Feingold
amendment would require all tax cuts and entitlement increases to be offset; legislation violating this stricture would be
blocked by a “point of order,” which would take 60 votes to overcome.) News reports indicate, however, that
the House and Senate Republican Leaderships strongly oppose the Feingold amendment and will push for its removal in conference.
This analysis examines, among other things, the impact the Senate plan would have on deficits without the Feingold amendment.