Reich is right November 12, 2012 at 10:45 pm

Robert Reich has a prescription for closing the $4T US budget deficit:

go back sixty years when Americans earning over $1 million in today’s dollars paid 55.2 percent of it in income taxes, after taking all deductions and credits… go back sixty years when Americans earning over $1 million in today’s dollars paid 55.2 percent of it in income taxes, after taking all deductions and credits… Raise the capital gains rate to match the rate on ordinary income and cap the mortgage interest deduction at $12,000 a year, and that’s another $1 trillion over ten years… Eliminate special tax preferences for oil and gas, price supports for big agriculture, tax breaks and research subsidies for Big Pharma, unnecessary weapons systems for military contractors, and indirect subsidies to the biggest banks on Wall Street, and we’re nearly there.

End the Bush tax cuts on incomes between $250,000 and $1 million, and — bingo — we made it: $4 trillion over 10 years.

He’s close, that’s for sure. I would add reform of the tax code to make aggressive avoidance and off-shore earning sheltering much harder (and I’d probably be less aggressive on research subsidies). Still the point is not the details: it is that the US can easily close the deficit by asking those who have benefited most from the last twenty years to pay the most.

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