In this Thanksgiving weekend, we acknowledge much for which we are thankful, including this great country. I would add my wonderful family, including my very liberal sisters. And a great number of other things . . .
Today, I feel like I should add Charles Krauthammer to the list of things for which I am most thankful. I had sketched an idea related to the left’s latest, to borrow the expression of a GayPatriot reader, Emmanuel Goldstein, Grover Norquist, a man Democrats are now blaming for the alleged Republican obstructionism in debt reduction negotiations.
You see, Grover has succeeded in securing the signatures of a substantial number of Republicans on a pledge not to raise taxes. And because, Democrats claim, Republicans won’t raise taxes, they can’t make a deal to cut the deficits.
The man to whom I am most grateful today (for making my task much easier) does a wonderful job of deconstructing (to borrow a term near and dear to the hearts of many academic leftists) the latest left-wing talking point:
So why does the myth of the Norquist-controlled anti-tax monolith persist? You might suggest cynicism and perversity. Let me offer a more benign explanation: thickheadedness — the inability to tell the difference between tax revenue and tax rates.
In deficit reduction, all that matters is tax revenue. The holders of our national debt care not a whit what tax rates yield the money to pay them back. They care about the sum.
The Republican proposals raise revenue, despite lowering rates, by opening a gusher of new income for the Treasury in the form of loophole elimination. For example, the Toomey plan eliminates deductions by $300 billion more than the reduction in tax rates “cost.” Result: $300 billion in new revenue.
. . . .
Raising revenue through tax reform is better than simply raising rates, which Democrats insist upon with near religious fervor. It is more economically efficient because it eliminates credits, carve-outs and deductions that grossly misallocate capital. And it is more fair because it is the rich who can afford not only the sharp lawyers and accountants who exploit loopholes but the lobbyists who create them in the first place.
Emphasis added. It’s Krauthammer; just read the whole thing.
To my conservative friends, I ask that you re-read that last paragraph quoted. If we’re bothered (as many of us are) that 47% of Americans don’t pay taxes, we should also find it troubling that many in higher income brackets manage to game the tax system (through those sharp lawyers they can afford to hire) to reduce their tax burden to percentage of their income lower than that of many in more modest income brackets.
We can’t let Democrats use this issue as a talking point as the lefties at Think Progress do in this video:
One thing which the folks at Think Progress leave out is that Ronald Reagan favored broad-based tax reform eliminating loopholes while Barack Obama has proposed smaller changes merely hiking tax rates on millionaires. That’s a distinction with a huge difference.
The Democrat may demonize the loopholes, but, unlike the Republican, he has failed to sign on to a reform package that would create a simpler, fairer tax tax structure. Even with his proposed higher rates, many “millionaires and billionaires” would still be able to avail themselves of loopholes.
Once again, we’ve got left-wingers pulling a Reagan sound bite out of context. If the current president, as the above excerpts indicate, does indeed favor eliminating loopholes, why then doesn’t he put forward (or sign onto) a plan that does just that and challenge Republicans to sign it?
And let’s hope more Republicans join the Gipper in signing onto tax reform plans that create a simpler, more equitable tax structure. That said, the problem today, as Krauthammer, is not Republican obstructionism, but Democratic intransigence. The president’s party insists on raising tax rates on millionaires, but unlike one of their fellow partisans in the Reagan era, Democrats shy away from real tax reform.