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Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Now Ain't The Time For Your Tears

A USA Today Editorial laments that tax reform proposals face a tough road ahead. It does so in an extraordinarily bland fashion, with some vague hope that some 1986-style bipartisan cleaning up of the tax code, where some loopholes get closed and some knobs get fine-tuned.

I've always been something a "good government" type myself, so I'm not entirely unsymapthetic to the notion that the federal tax laws are a little unwieldy and complicated, in some unsavory ways.

But this editorial's more than a little silly. With all relevant branches of government firmly in the hands of the "slash and burn" crowd, you're not going to get good policy out of them, even good conservative policy. They know how to win elections and how to pay off their cronies, and that's about it.

Considering that every last one of the Republican proposals is an attempt to shift tax burdens away from people who live off of idle income (whether derived from inheritance, from capital gains, or from investments) towards those who have to work for their money, particularly those caught living from paycheck to paycheck, I have no problem with tax overhaul not getting done.

I just hope Democrats remember that the Republicans, when they were in a vageuly similar position in 1993, weren't penalized at the polls for squawking long and loud about any and every Clinton proposal. Such is the nature of the game as it now stands.

For the first few days following the election, I got really incensed whenever I saw a Bush/Cheney or W'04 sticker. However, I now realize that I hope they keep them on their cars, so we'll know exactly deserves blame for the next four years.


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