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Monday, June 06, 2011

Republicans and taxes

Yesterday, The Washington Post had a terrific article by Lori Montgomery about the Republican Party's anti-"tax orthodoxy." Virtually all Republicans in both the House and Senate have signed Grover Norquist's "no new taxes" pledge, an idea he apparently came up with when he was 14 years old.

The article points out that after decades of cutting taxes, debt has soared and revenues have cratered during recent economic hardship. Norquist would disagree, but there's not much fat to cut in the federal budget either -- unless politicians want to go after defense spending, middle class subsidies (mortgage interest deduction) or big government subsidies (in energy, agriculture, mining, etc.). Those benefits are favored by many of their donors and voters -- as are tax cuts on the affluent.

Alan Greenspan

Nonetheless, the article includes several quotes from Republicans calling for tax increases, including former Fed chair Alan Greenspan:
Former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan joined the chorus Friday, dropping his support for the 2001 George W. Bush tax cuts. Greenspan told CNBC he’s so “scared” by the debt that he now favors a return to the higher rates of the Clinton administration.
Greenspan was part of Ayn Rand's posse, though I doubt that will influence Rand Paul's thinking much.

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