Saturday, June 4, 2011

A principle for deficit reduction

As I am preparing for a panel on the US budget I will be participating in on Thursday in Madison, a principle occurs to me.  Given that over the past 30 years the economy has disproportionately benefitted high income people far more than low income people, and holders of capital more than earners of wages, any deficit reduction proposal should be, on net, progressive, after considering both changes to the tax code and expenditures.  This is not easy to do analytically, and could still involve some sacrifice from most people, but it should at least be a point of departure.