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VOL. 127 | NO. 187 | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Economists Say US Needs More Taxes, Cuts

By SCOTT MAYEROWITZ

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NEW YORK (AP) – The best way to reduce the federal deficit is through a combination of higher taxes and spending cuts, according to a group of economists.

The 236 members of the National Association for Business Economics recently surveyed say the country needs more fiscal stimulus through 2013, but by 2014 it should be time to throttle back. The reason for the delay: the sluggish nature of the country’s economic recovery.

A majority of the economists favor extending payroll tax cuts, current marginal income tax rates and current tax rates for dividends and capital gains for most or all taxpayers through 2013. Deep tax cuts that were passed under President George W. Bush expire at the end of December unless Congress takes action. At the center of debate: extending the cuts for everybody or just households earning less than $250,000 a year.

When it comes to making those cuts permanent, the group is more split. Nearly three quarters think the payroll tax cut should not be made permanent. The group is almost evenly split about whether to make the tax cuts on income, dividends and capital gains permanent.

The biggest economic worry for the group was indecision: 87 percent of the economists believe that uncertainty about what direction Washington will take is holding back the economic recovery.

The survey on economic policies released Monday also forecast that short-term interest rates would remain at current levels for at least another year.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 72 206 16,619
MORTGAGES 84 228 21,660
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 21 56 4,322
BUILDING PERMITS 0 209 39,587
BANKRUPTCIES 73 222 15,764
BUSINESS LICENSES 23 51 5,542
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 86 287 23,860
MARRIAGE LICENSES 21 72 5,107

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