Nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to: Jeff Merkley edition
Sen. Jeff Merkley isn't thrilled with the tax-cut deal. And according to one of his aides, he's planning to offer an amendment to make it better. The Merkley proposal would end the tax cuts for income over $1,000,000 and redirect that money -- about $400 billion over 10 years, though obviously much less than that over two -- to shoring up Social Security's finances.
I don't really understand how this would work in practice: The money going to the millionaire's tax cuts is borrowed money, so this would be borrowed money going to Social Security. Merkley's aide says it would come from general revenues, but I'd say this is just evidence of how "trust fund" accounting gets everyone confused.
If the mechanics of this are unclear, the messaging isn't: You can be for using a given dollar for tax breaks for millionaires or for using a dollar for deficit reduction. You can't be for using the dollar for both things, though that's certainly the more popular position on the Hill. More broadly, Merkley is one of the first to begin working on a specific reform to the framework, but he won't be alone. Expect a lot of these proposals to force Republicans to go on the record for tax cuts for the wealthy and against deficit reduction in the coming days.
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