Memo: Senate Dems long for $2.4 trillion tax increase

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

Senate Budget Committee chairwoman Patty Murray, D-Wash., believes that a fiscal deal containing a $2.4 trillion tax increase would be “balanced,” as she explained in a memo to Democratic colleagues.

“As we continue working to tackle our budget challenges and build on recent efforts, it is valuable to look to the work of bipartisan groups over the last several years as frameworks for what a balanced, bipartisan, and comprehensive deal could look like,” Murray wrote in a January 24 memo, citing the President’s Fiscal Commission  (better known as Simpson-Bowles), and the Gang of Six proposals discussed in 2011.

“[T]he two bipartisan efforts proposed a roughly 1:1 ratio of spending and revenue savings,” she continued. “Further, measured over the same ten-year window used to estimate the effects of the ATRA legislation (2013-2022), the two bipartisan efforts each provide for revenue of between $2.4 trillion and $2.5 trillion, or roughly four times the amount of new revenue to be generated by the year-end deal.”

Murray is expected to present her budget proposal next week.

The memo, circulated well-ahead of the sequestration deadline, made clear that while Murray believes the cuts will be “painful,” she prefers that to a proposal that doesn’t increase taxes.

“While sequestration would be painful, it would be worse to replace these cuts in a way that hurts the middle class and most vulnerable families even more and doesn’t call on the wealthy to pay their fair share,” Murray suggested.

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