Tax Deal Dwarfs Stimulus Cost

MIAMI (CBS4) – When President Barack Obama unveiled his federal stimulus plan, many in both parties erupted over the $787 billion price tag. But now, Obama’s tax deal with Congressional Republicans will dwarf the stimulus in the cost to American taxpayers.

According to Congressional Budget Office, the tax deal will come at a cost of $858 billion over the next ten years, or roughly $71 billion more than the president’s stimulus plan.

“It’s Robin Hood in reverse,” said Senator Bernie Sanders, “taking from the middle class and working families and giving to the wealthiest people in the country.”

The Wall Street Journal reported the plan’s costs break down like this: $675.2 billion over ten years will be the cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for two years; other costs will include setting the estate tax at 35%, and adding an exemption for estates under $5 million, knocking 2 percent off employees’ portion or the Social Security payroll tax.

Some members of both parties say that the plan will pay for itself by spurring a faster economic recovery, thus boosting federal revenues. But, others argue that the high cost of keeping the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans is unsustainable.

“You can’t give everybody a tax cut like it’s Oprah Winfrey or Santa Claus,” said Representative Robert Scott. “You get a tax cut and you get a tax cut; eventually, somebody’s gonna have to pay for it.”

At the same time, Republicans said they would be happy to have the tax cut debate in the middle of the 2012 presidential race and will vote to extend the Bush tax rates even further.

GOP members said to make this happen, they will look at options to trim the federal deficit including privatizing Social Security, raising the retirement age and cutting Medicare and Social Security


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