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What a choice! One year of investment tax cuts equals 10 years of Social Security cuts?

Choices to surviveBudgets are all about choosing priorities.  And here’s one choice: chained CPI?  Or eliminate the tax break for investment income?

When I looked at the numbers this morning, I was stunned.

Chained CPI is a way of recalculating – and permanently lowering – everyone’s Social Security benefits.  It has been a top Republican priority for years.  The White House Budget Director estimates that changing to chained CPI would save the federal government $150 billion over the next decade.

And how much does the federal government spend on tax breaks on investment income?  According to Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation, tax breaks on investment income will cost $161 billion this fiscal year alone.

Go back and read that again.

Tax breaks on investment income cost the federal government more – in just one year – than chained CPI would save over an entire decade.

Budgets are all about choices.  For many American families, the choices are between food and heat, medicine or mortgage?  For Congress, as it debates this budget, the choices are about who pays – and who benefits.

I’m still stunned.  One year of treating investment income as if it was wage income would pay for ten years of the Republicans’ proposed cuts to Social Security benefits.

I’m still at a loss for words.  It is morally wrong, that this choice is even being considered.

 

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