Magazine February 20, 2012, Issue

A Tax Floor, with No Ceiling

(Darren Gygi)
The “Buffet rule” is the wrong model

It’s one of the great mysteries of Barack Obama’s presidency: Why did he stiff-arm the recommendations of the Bowles-Simpson commission — the bipartisan debt-reduction panel that the president himself created in 2010? On the surface, it’s quite a puzzler. The Bowles-Simpson proposal would have put federal debt on a path to 40 percent of GDP by 2035, versus 84 percent under the Congressional Budget Office’s current-baseline scenario and 187 percent under the CBO’s more realistic “alternative” fiscal projection. And Bowles-Simpson would have achieved that goal by enshrining Obamacare — even accelerating its implementation, in some instances — while permanently raising

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Two Decades Too Late

For months, former senator Rick Santorum has been talking about working-class woes and promoting a working-class-friendly economic agenda, and in late January President Obama’s State of the Union speech placed ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Money Bawl

When the Federal Reserve decided to loosen monetary policy in September 2007, not many people criticized it. The vote was unanimous. Few congressmen said anything about the move. Three years ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The Joys of Action

My favorite moment in Contraband, a palate-cleansing little thriller that’s perfect for moviegoers sated by December’s buffet of prestige movies, comes just after Mark Wahlberg’s New Orleans super-smuggler, Chris Farraday, ...
City Desk

The Origin

Washington Crossing the Delaware, the city’s most popular painting, belongs to its largest museum. But for a while, in the last century, we didn’t quite know what to do with ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

The Shame of FDR While the basic argument of Daniel Foster’s “For Shame” (January 23) — that the stigma associated with receiving public assistance has eroded, to our detriment — is ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ We have to admit that President Obama’s line about not being consumed by personal ambition was pretty good. He should save it for volume three of his memoirs. ‐ To ...
Athwart

To Newtly Go

Count me with Newt if the issue’s the moon. We should have had a base up there by 2001, just like the one in the movie. Of course, if we ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

‘HORSEMAN, PASS BY’ Over time, the bravado fades; the long quiet of death helps a silence, encouraged, to take on a weight its first appearance failed to suggest; but not as an albatross, or death prefigured, or ...
Happy Warrior

The Catholic State

So the Health Commissar, Kathleen Sebelius, has decided that, under Obamacare, religious institutions, like any other employer, will be required to offer their workers free contraception, sterilization, and abortifacients. Well, ...

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