Thursday, November 4, 2010

Make This Post Still Timely in Two Years

Reihan Salaam's modest proposal for compromise on the Bush tax cuts:

And on taxes, Representative Ryan and his Republican allies would do well to move beyond the polarizing debate over the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts by advocating the extension of all of the cuts for two years and then allowing them to expire, as the president’s former budget director Peter Orszag recommended in his first New York Times Op-Ed column. The expiration of the 2001 and 2003 cuts would serve as a downpayment on a comprehensive tax reform proposal, perhaps modeled on the Growth and Investment Tax Plan devised by President Bush’s bipartisan tax reform panel.

The only reason this is a polarizing debate is because raising taxes, any taxes, especially taxes on the rich, is considered a cardinal sin among Republicans. "Allowing them to expire" is what was supposed to happen. It's written into the tax cuts themselves! But a very influential bloc of conservative activists has convinced itself that returning the tax code to Clinton-era levels would be The Biggest Tax Increase in American History. Why would they change their minds two years from now?

h/t Sullivan

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