NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg came to town this morning to push the Super Committee to go big on spending cuts calling the mandated $1.2 trillion minimum "a drop in the bucket." He called on the Deficit Dozen to embrace most of Simpson-Bowles proposals, including Social Security reforms, and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. Last week, Bloomberg hosted a bipartisan group of senators and labor and business leaders at Gracie Mansion.
Bloomberg said he realizes that the committee is unlikely to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, but called on President Obama to threaten to veto any extensions arguing that "he should throw politics aside and lead, not follow, the conventional wisdom." If lawmakers knew the tax cuts would expire next year, Bloomberg argued, "Democrats would be in a much stronger position to negotiate increased revenues now" and it would increase the chances of bipartisan tax reform. ...Democrats have to accept spending cuts and entitlement reform and Republicans "have to face the reality that we need more revenue," Bloomberg said.Bloomberg acknowledged that last year he urged Obama to extend the Bush tax cuts, calling it a "prudent ... short-term measure" that gave leaders time to address the deficit and other structural problems. "Unfortunately, over the past year, Simpson-Bowles never even made it to the floor of Congress for a debate, no less a vote. And while nothing has happened in Washington, in Europe, we are seeing what happens when deficits are ignored indefinitely," he said.