Democrats say they want to raise as much as $1 trillion in new revenues through tax reform later this year to balance Republican demands to slash mandatory spending.
The emerging consensus, however, is that the next installment of deficit reduction should reach $2 trillion and about half of it should come from higher taxes.
Liberal and centrist Democrats say revenues collected through tax reform should go to deficit reduction.
“We’ve done about $2 trillion. I thought $4 trillion is the goal we should reach. I think we’re about half way there. We need another $2 trillion,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over tax reform.
He said the $917 billion cut under the Budget Control Act passed in the summer of 2011 combined with $620 billion in revenues from Tuesday’s tax deal and interest savings adds up to about $2 trillion.
Cardin said the ratio of spending cuts to higher tax revenues “should be about even” in the next deficit-reduction deal passed by Congress.