The deficit commission report

I've read only the summaries (and here), not the report.  Mankiw is happy, Krugman and DeLong are upset.  The home mortgage interest deduction goes and income tax rates are 8, 14, and 23 percent.  No one thinks this is the final deal.  I would say evaluate this as you would a movie trailer: will it get people to take the next step of thinking about a ticket purchase?  The top 23 percent tax rate is like the quickly cut scene with the rolling boulder, the skimpily clad girl, the grinning enemy, and the face of the star.  "The Bowles-Simpson plan has a ratio of roughly $3 in spending reductions for every $1 in revenue increases…"  It won't happen in real life.  As a movie preview I judge this as "good enough."  It basically declares that some major deductions have to be on the table and it gets us to the next step.

Ezra Klein comments.


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