Thursday, December 23, 2010

When it's OK to raise taxes.

Q: When is it OK for a conservative to propose raising taxes?

A: When it involves raising taxes on Ameica's poorest citizens to facilitate the lowering of taxes on the wealthiest.

George Will writes approvingly of the tax "reform" plans of GOP representative Dave Camp:

[GOP congressman Dave Camp's] aim is "fundamental" tax reform, understood the usual way - broadening the base (eliminating loopholes) to make lower rates possible. He would like a top rate of 25 percent - three points lower than Ronald Reagan achieved in 1986...

Many conservatives, including Camp, believe that although most Americans should be paying lower taxes, more Americans should be paying taxes. The fact that 46.7 million earners pay no income tax creates moral hazard - incentives for perverse behavior: Free-riding people have scant incentive to restrain the growth of government they are not paying for with income taxes.

...In addition to the one-third of the 143 million tax returns filed by individual earners for 2007 that showed no tax liability, additional millions of households have incomes low enough to exempt them from filing tax returns.
It couldn't be plainer than that. The GOP is not the anti-tax party it makes itself out to be. It's the tax burden shifting party, and the thing that most distresses them about the working poor is not the difficulty they have making ends meet, or gaining access to health care, or paying for college for their kids. No, the thing that most distresses conservatives about the working poor is that they pay no income tax.

If Democrats had a clue... any clue at all, they would make an issue of this sort of thing.

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