When Do We Get to the Revenue Half of Bowles-Simpson?

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Jared Bernstein makes a point today that’s worth repeating: Republicans have given a lot of love to the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction plan lately, but it turns out that we’ve already made a lot of the spending cuts in their plan. Here are the basic numbers:

  • Total discretionary spending cuts proposed: $2.1 trillion
  • Revenue increases proposed: $2.6 trillion
  • Discretionary spending cuts already passed in 2011: $1.5 trillion
  • What’s left: $0.6 trillion in discretionary spending cuts and $2.6 trillion in tax increases

This doesn’t count savings from interest on the debt, it doesn’t count reduced war expenses, it doesn’t count sequestration cuts scheduled for January 1, it doesn’t include entitlement cuts, and it’s not inflated by stimulus spending. These are apples-to-apples numbers on discretionary spending and revenue increases.

So we’ve already made pretty good progress on Bowles-Simpson’s discretionary spending cuts. Add in interest reductions and war cuts and we’ve made even more. But we’ve made no progress at all on the Bowles-Simpson revenue increases. When does that part of the plan get started?

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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