St. Petersburg Times
Special report
Video report
  • For their own good
    Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
  • More video reports
Multimedia report
Print Email this storyEmail story Comment Email editor
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Your name Your email
Friend's name Friend's email
Your message
 

Good news, bad news

By Other views Washington Post
Published April 1, 2007


ADVERTISEMENT

The House and Senate have now passed budget plans for next year. First the good news: The resolutions enshrine "pay-go," which is a procedural impediment to additional deficit spending. Pay-go means that more spending on things such as entitlement programs or tax cuts will have to be offset by either tax increases or spending cuts elsewhere. It's an eminently responsible idea.

The bad news lies in the lingering differences between the two budget plans. The Senate's version contains language committing a projected - and probably illusory - surplus to the goal of extending for the middle class a range of tax cuts that are due to expire in 2010. Any bill written to extend these cuts according to the Senate's blueprint would still be subject to pay-go. So if the projected budget surpluses don't materialize, Congress will have to take money from elsewhere, raise other taxes or adopt a waiver from pay-go to extend the tax cuts. In early 2007, it is unnecessary and unwise to make policy commitments regarding tax cuts in 2010, especially when they are predicated on a projected budget surplus.

The House budget plan does not contain the same language on tax cuts. But, like the Senate's, it does little to rein in entitlement spending and bases projections of a surplus on accounting gimmicks.

Now the two houses have to reconcile their plans. House representatives should push to strike the Senate language on tax-cut extensions.

[Last modified April 1, 2007, 01:12:03]


Share your thoughts on this story

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Subscribe to the Times
Click here for daily delivery
of the St. Petersburg Times.

Email Newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT