By Andrea Salazar
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg called on federal lawmakers Tuesday to seriously address the nation’s debt and deficit by allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire.
In a speech at the left-leaning Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., Bloomberg touted the plan put forth last year by President Obama’s debt commission. The proposal co-crafted by Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Alan Simpson, featured large spending cuts, scaled-back tax breaks, increases to personal tax rates and tweaks to federal entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.
“The spending cuts in Simpson-Bowles, plus Clinton-era tax rates, plus closing some tax loopholes and ending wasteful subsidies would save $8 trillion and effectively bring our budget into balance by 2021,” Bloomberg said during a speech at the Center for American Progress in Washington.
Bloomberg warned that the current deficit committee’s goal of $1.2 trillion in cuts “would be almost as bad as getting no deal at all.” He called that figure “a drop in the bucket” compared to the nation’s $14.6 trillion debt.
“It will allow Congress to walk away from real deficit reduction until at least 2013.”
Calling for “a flatter and lower” tax, Bloomberg called on President Obama to allow the Bush tax cuts expire for all tax brackets.
“All income groups have to be part of the solution,” Bloomberg said. “It’s fair to ask those who earn more to bear more of the burden. That is the whole idea behind a graduated income tax,” Bloomberg said. “But all of us should help carry the load.”
However, the Mayor, who also happens to be the 12th richest person in the U.S., acknowledged that his recommendations are not a “cure-all,” adding that entitlement, tax and immigration reforms are also necessary.
Addressing the gridlock in Congress, Bloomberg pushed Democrats and Republicans to compromise. “We are not going to be able to cut our ways out of the problem and we’re not going to be able to just tax our ways out of the problem,” he said. “We must do both.”
“All sides have to be willing to give on something,” Bloomberg added. “We don’t have to slaughter the sacred cows but we do need to get a little milk from them.”
Originally for Talk Radio News Service.
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