Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) have been leading the charge on Capitol Hill trying to repeal the nearly $600 billion in military and security spending cuts that are mandated to take effect because the super committee has failed to reach an agreement on how to cut $1.2 trillion in federal spending.
But House Armed Services Committee ranking member Adam Smith (D-WA) offered an easy solution to Republicans refusing to trim any more fat from the military’s bloated budget: let the Bush tax cuts expire. Smith noted the revenue generated from the elimination of those tax cuts would more than cover the $1.2 trillion in cuts Congress needs to find, DEFCON Hill reports:
He charged that if Republicans vote to extend all of the tax rates without changing sequestration, they would then be supporting keeping sequestration in place, because the revenues from the expiring tax rates could undo sequestration.
“The vote to extend the Bush tax cuts in their entirety would, in essence, be the vote to lock in sequestration,” Smith said at a roundtable with reporters. “That will be interesting.”
As the Hill notes: “The reason the Bush-era tax rates and sequestration are interlinked is all about timing: The rates expire at the end of 2012, while sequestration goes into effect on Jan. 2, 2013.”