Former Delaware Senator Ted Kaufman says there is no mystery to balancing the budget and getting rid of the national deficit. However, everything needs to be on the table.
Kaufman came to WHYY’s Wilmington studio Wednesday, to tell Fox Business Network that in all of the years he worked for Vice-President Joe Biden during his years in the Senate, “no one cared about balancing a budget.” He described a change in attitude in the 1990’s when Congress came up with a balanced budget. “We know the answer, just like we know the answer to social security and these other things. That is everything has to be on the table. We have to sit down and work it out,” said Kaufman.
He says there is a basic difference between Democrats and Republicans. The differences now are mostly about politics. He says the budget cuts so far just deal with discretionary spending, which is 20 percent of the budget. Kaufman says if you talk about cuts, you have to also deal with ways to raise revenue.
President George H.W. Bush’s term was marked by his famous “read my lips” tax promise. But Kaufman says it was that tax increase, and a large increase during President Bill Clinton’s term, that produced a budget surplus by the end of the 1990’s.
Kaufman told Fox Business Network he is fond of quoting Willie Sutton about why he robs banks. In Sutton’s case, Kaufman says, “it’s because that’s where the money is.” In the case of budget balancing, the need to find sources of revenue (taxes), along with budget cuts, is where Democrats and Republicans need to begin their negotiations.