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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 04:27 PM ET, 04/01/2011

Amateur hour for Senate Republicans

Yes, the new Senate balanced-budget amendment is an amateurish version of a terrible idea, as Bruce Bartlett explains. And yes, it’s most likely effect would actually be to increase budget deficits.

But my very favorite provision in this awful measure is this one:

For the purpose of determining any increase in revenue under this section, there shall be excluded any increase resulting from the lowering of the statutory rate of any tax.

That’s right: Senate Republicans want to put Laffer-style tax fantasies right into the Constitution. Really, it’s just surprising that there isn’t anything in this joke of an amendment demanding that the resident of the United States have his birth certificate visibly affixed to his clothing at all times.

On a (slightly) more serious note, it’s pretty obvious how this would play out in practice, should this thing actually wind up in parchment. When Democrats are elected, Republicans would freak out about the unconstitutional deficits that were being enacted. Then when Republicans are elected, they would pass tax cuts and project whopping big revenue surges from “dynamic” scoring.

Oh. That’s sort of how things are right now, isn’t it?

By  |  04:27 PM ET, 04/01/2011

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