Transcript: Alan Simpson on eliminating tax expenditures
Transcript of excerpts from the Politico Playbook Breakfast with Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, co-chairs of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, on sequestration and deficit reduction. The event was held on Feb. 19, 2013 and moderated by Mike Allen, Politico’s White House correspondent.
You don’t have to do a tax increase to gain the ire of Grover and his white robes battalions. You don’t have to do that. You go into the tax code and you say, “Guess what? You want a stimulus? What the hell do you think a deficit of $1 trillion plus is?” If that isn’t a stimulus, I’ve missed the boat. That’s what a stimulus is and we’ve done over $1 trillion over the last 4 years. So we say, go into that tax code and start ripping around in it. Really fun to do that. That’ll irritate everyone in the U.S. There are 180 of those babies in there, and they take care of everybody. And remember this…
Wait, what are the babies? The 180 what?
180 tax expenditures in the tax code. They’re nothing but spending by any other name. They’re loopholes. They’re deductions. They’re all the works. And guess what? Only 20% of the American people use 80% of them. Run that through your gord [sp] again. Only 20% of the American people use 80%. Only 27% of the American people itemize on their tax return, which means that three-quarters of the Americans have never heard of those. So who is using them? Me, you, the media, anybody who’s got a little buck is using those babies and they suck $1 trillion plus out of the Treasury just like that every year.
Sen. Simpson, given what you’ve said about the constituency for those, do you believe that tax reform this year is possible?
Yeah. I think that Max Baucus and Dave Camp were working as Erskine says in the yeoman ways to try to do something and they know what to do. But the heat is on. I mean, you know, tax reform – you’re going to mess around with home mortgage interest deductions or earned income tax credits, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, oil and gas. I mean, play the game. 180 of those babies out there and they are solidly in the grasp of somebody who’s going to go to their congressperson this trip around who they’ve maxed out on every primary and they maxed out on every general and they’re going to come to them this year and say, “We have never asked you for a thing but pal we are here to ask you don’t let this happen. It took us years to get that into the tax code and if you let that out with all we’ve done for you, boy that’s where the hammer’s coming this year.”
- C-Span.org: Video of the Politico Playbook Breakfast with Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson on Feb. 19, 2013
- Fix the Debt Coalition’s website
- MomentOfTruth.org: A Bipartisan Path Forward to Security America’s Future – Feb. 2013
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles announce new blueprint to reduce deficit by $2.4 trillion
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles on the “point of no return” to address nation’s debt
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles on the White House’s engagement to strike a “grand bargain” to reduce the deficit
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles on entitlement reform
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Alan Simpson on eliminating tax expenditures
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles on controlling health care costs
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Erskine Bowles calls sequestration “stupid, stupid, stupid”
- WhatTheFolly.com: Transcript: Simpson-Bowles on the cost of “kicking the can down the road” on deficit reduction
Category: Congress, Current Events, Economy, Politics, Transcripts, U.S. · Tags: Alan Simpson, Congress, Dave Camp, debt, deficit, deficit reduction, federal debt, federal deficit, Fix the Debt, Grover Norquist, high deficits, lobbying, Max Baucus, Mike Allen, mortgage, National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, national debt, Politico, public debt, reduce deficit, stimulus, tax benefit, tax benefits, tax breaks, tax credit, tax deductions, tax earmarks, tax expenditures, tax loopholes, tax reform, U.S., U.S. tax reform, United States