Dallas Morning News: At least there still are some fiscal conservatives in Washington.
A bipartisan group of Senate moderates presented a plan last week to pay for extending several Bush tax cuts. Instead of keeping them forever, without the means to pay for them, the bipartisan centrists would extend them one year. And they would pay for the extra year through closing various tax shelters and hiking some customs fees.
The beauty of this approach is that it sets a precedent. If this pay-as-you-go approach works for one year, then Congress could use it for several years. That way the White House could get a lengthy extension of its tax cuts and the fiscal conservatives could walk away relieved the expansion did not exacerbate the deficit, which is hovering around $400 billion.
Look to the future
For the record, the Dallas Morning News favors most of the Bush tax cuts. That includes the middle-class ones being discussed for extension, such as hiking tax credits for every child in a family. But Congress needs to extend them in a way that does no harm to the future. There's no good in adults reaping a benefit now if they're going to leave behind a huge debt.
We applaud Texas Democratic Rep. Charlie Stenholm for speaking out recently about extending tax cuts without paying for them. "We should not pay for tax cuts by borrowing money against our children's future," he told the House.
We hope the White House and Congress see it that way when Washington gets going again in September. Bipartisan moderates have offered a way forward. Both sides should be wise enough to grab it.