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In case you missed it - Krugman: The Tax-Cut Con

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T Roosevelt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 03:38 PM
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In case you missed it - Krugman: The Tax-Cut Con
This is a great article (rather long) on what republicans are really up to regarding taxes. Highly recommended.

The Tax-Cut Con
By PAUL KRUGMAN

<snip>

Nobody likes paying taxes, and no doubt some Americans are as angry about their taxes as Tinsley's imaginary character. But most Americans also care a lot about the things taxes pay for. All politicians say they're for public education; almost all of them also say they support a strong national defense, maintaining Social Security and, if anything, expanding the coverage of Medicare. When the ''guy on the news'' asks whether we can afford a tax cut, he's asking whether, after yet another tax cut goes through, there will be enough money to pay for those things. And the answer is no.

But it's very difficult to get that answer across in modern American politics, which has been dominated for 25 years by a crusade against taxes.

I don't use the word ''crusade'' lightly. The advocates of tax cuts are relentless, even fanatical. An indication of the movement's fervor -- and of its political power -- came during the Iraq war. War is expensive and is almost always accompanied by tax increases. But not in 2003. ''Nothing is more important in the face of a war,'' declared Tom DeLay, the House majority leader, ''than cutting taxes.'' And sure enough, taxes were cut, not just in a time of war but also in the face of record budget deficits. Nor will it be easy to reverse those tax cuts: the tax-cut movement has convinced many Americans -- like Tinsley -- that everybody still pays far too much in taxes.

A result of the tax-cut crusade is that there is now a fundamental mismatch between the benefits Americans expect to receive from the government and the revenues government collect. This mismatch is already having profound effects at the state and local levels: teachers and policemen are being laid off and children are being denied health insurance. The federal government can mask its problems for a while, by running huge budget deficits, but it, too, will eventually have to decide whether to cut services or raise taxes. And we are not talking about minor policy adjustments. If taxes stay as low as they are now, government as we know it cannot be maintained. In particular, Social Security will have to become far less generous; Medicare will no longer be able to guarantee comprehensive medical care to older Americans; Medicaid will no longer provide basic medical care to the poor.

How did we reach this point? What are the origins of the antitax crusade? And where is it taking us? To answer these questions, we will have to look both at who the antitax crusaders are and at the evidence on what tax cuts do to the budget and the economy. But first, let's set the stage by taking a look at the current state of taxation in America.

<snip>

It is often hard to pin down what antitax crusaders are trying to achieve. The reason is not, or not only, that they are disingenuous about their motives -- though as we will see, disingenuity has become a hallmark of the movement in recent years. Rather, the fuzziness comes from the fact that today's antitax movement moves back and forth between two doctrines. Both doctrines favor the same thing: big tax cuts for people with high incomes. But they favor it for different reasons.

more...

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Jim Sagle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 04:10 PM
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1. Your link sent me to the Times archive - which asked me to pay
for the article.
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T Roosevelt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-23-03 06:34 PM
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2. They must have archived it
It was free when I posted. Glad I printed it.
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KalicoKitty Donating Member (777 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-24-03 08:15 AM
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3. The Tax-Cut Con - Link
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Loyal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-03 08:51 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. I loved this article
Krugman is brilliant.
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Loyal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-04-03 12:36 PM
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5. kick
:kick:
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