Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Catsup Aside, David Stockman Is Right

David Stockman ... No catsup on this burger
This comes from David Stockman, Reagan's budget director who was so parsimonious and unfeeling as chief bean counter/budget director that he decreed catsup (or "ketchup," if you prefer) was a vegetable on school lunch plates so the government could save a few pennies.

He was on a radio talk show (Public Radio, so don't get your knickers in a twist) this morning going off on the prospect of retaining the middle class tax cut--and he made a whole lot of sense, even to an unconvertible liberal like me.

He favors the middle class paying higher taxes. He favors the rich paying higher taxes. He says Reagan's legacy is underscored by a $150 billion tax increase he signed into law in 1982, one that kept the government operating.

"We desperately need revenue," he said. "We need to snow plow the tax incentive holiday and the tax breaks one year at a time," suck it up and fork it over. He sounded a lot like Barack Obama yesterday, saying the burden must be shared by all of us--and he's right. We don't need to separate out the rich; we just need to tax them at a rate commiserate with needs. We need to raise the eligibility age for Social Security and eliminate payment to those who don't need it (and to my mind, that's anybody with a retirement income of $100,000 or more or a net worth of more than $2 million, both of which are quite generous).

If Stockman's on board with this "spread the misery" philosophy, I sure as hell am. It's fair, and it's rare when a Republican acts in the public interest. Good for you, David Stockman. We can almost forget the catsup jokes now. Almost.

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