It appears that those teenagers running D.C. have continued to avoid making real decisions and blared their Hoobastank a little too loudly for Mayor Bloomberg's taste, so Hizzoner gave a speech at the Center For American Progress this morning to straighten things out. "For too long, Washington has operated on the 'something for nothing' principal," Bloomberg said. "Spending money we don't have seems to be about the only thing the two parties can agree on." His solution for the Budget Supercommittee? Let the Bush tax cuts expire for everyone, close tax loopholes for the financial industry, and end farm and energy subsidies.
Bloomberg says that Democrats must "accept the fact that there is no way we can do serious deficit reduction without finding more savings in health care costs," calling for "tort reform" and "structural health reform that saves money and saves lives." This makes it unclear as to whether Mayor Bloomberg was residing in the United States in the year 2009.
But the mayor also demanded that President Obama take some leadership by "committing to veto any further extensions" of the Bush tax cuts for any Americans, which are set to expire in 2013. But wait, didn't he advocate for their extension last year? Maybe, but while it was "prudent" then, Bloomberg claims that the United States' deficit woes are too dire at the moment. Not dire enough to extend the "Millionaires Tax," but dire!
For Republicans, Bloomberg says they need to recognize "the need for more revenue also means identifying tax breaks and loopholes, as well as subsidies that don't make sense," like the enormous ones paid to the agriculture and energy industries. "And since fair is fair, loopholes in the financial industry that are outdated should be closed too," he says, pointing to the taxation of carried interest as ordinary income, a loophole that hedge fund managers hold dearly. "I'll probably be getting a few phone calls later today," Bloomberg joked.
The mayor's speech contained both constructive and unrealistic suggestions for the Budget Supercommittee (whose deadline to come up with a measly $1.2 trillion deficit cut is in 2 weeks), but what was troubling was his vigorous, if unsurprising pro-business slant. "We need lower and flatter corporate taxes, because when you have the world's second-highest corporate tax rate, you drive away investment." Really? Is GE planning on moving anytime soon?
He alludes to "every CEO I talk with" and "every CEO and business leader that I speak with" when urging for deficit slashing and flatter taxes to "create jobs." How many "economists" has he spoken with? Or workers who don't happen to sit in a corner office?