Evslin: Closing loopholes for the rich should be part of budget equation

Op-ed of Vermont Digger

Excerpts from: article by Tom Evslin  Fractals of Change.

OK. Now we all agree that the deficit needs to be cut by some huge amount in the next decade. That’s some progress. We also mostly agree that the deficit cutting has to start real soon. That’s even more progress. And President Barack Obama says he believes that you can’t and shouldn’t make the deficit go away just by raising taxes. Serious people in both parties agree and acknowledge that the growth trajectory of entitlements is unsustainable and needs to be brought back to Earth and that there isn’t enough spending to cut in the non-entitlement parts of the budget to ever get deficits under control..

the rich are getting more than their fair share of benefits from the government.. The trouble is that many of these handouts to the rich are hidden in the tax code. They don’t look like expenditures and closing loopholes (they) look like raising taxes…Let’s look at just one egregious example: the infamous Hedge Fund Tax Break, estimated to cost the treasury somewhere between three and five billion per year… Listen to Huffington Post in 2009:

“If there is one tax loophole that looks dead in the water, it’s the law that lets hedge fund and private equity managers pay a 15-percent capital-gains rate on the multimillion-dollar fees they collect..”

..according to a spreadsheet for the Tax Policy Center based on federally supplied numbers from the tax expenditure, the 2010 budget awarded almost $9 billion in tax breaks for energy….Yes, there are credits here for solar, wind, and corny ethanol — but they are out-numbered by the various tax breaks for oil and other fossil fuels… Closing narrowly-targeted loopholes should not be considered raising taxes by Republicans or Democrats. Closing these loopholes would be a very good indication of whom Congress is working for…

Full Article – http://vtdigger.org/2011/04/18/evslin-closing-loopholes-for-the-rich-should-be-part-of-budget-equation/

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