from Follow the Money

Bush considering to a tax hike for most Americans?

November 6, 2004

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Isn’t that what a revenue neutral flat tax or a national sales tax implies, particularly one that exempts investment income from any taxation? (as Cheney reportedly is pushing).

In all honesty, it is hard for me to see how a revenue neutral flat tax would be politically viable, since it would almost necessarily raise taxes on many and cut taxes for a few, or how anything other than a revenue-neutral tax reform is economically viable, since a budget busting tax cut under the guise of tax reform would drive up long-term interest rates and drive down US home prices ...

Tom Franks’ book What’s Wrong with Kansas attracted my attention because, well, I am from Kansas. Born there, raised there, familty lives there and desperately hoping that a Jayhawks national title run in basketball will take my mind off U.S. politics. The core thesis of What’s Wrong With Kansas is simple: Republicans mobilize their base with cultural issues, and then deliver conservative economic policies that in Franks’ view offer little to their base.

Run against Janet Jackson, and then give her a tax cut. Run against gay marriage, then deliver partial privatization of social security and a flat tax.Bush credibly can claim he won something of a mandate to stay the course in Iraq, to keep the first term tax cuts, and even to "defend traditional familty values." But he was careful to talk sofly and only in code about his agenda for Social security "reform" and reducing taxes on investment income. Republican policy elites know what an "opportunity society" means in policy terms; I doubt the Republican electoral base does. Bush’s closing pitch to culturally conservative small town Ohio was not vote for me because I’ll fight for partial privatization of Social Security and a flat tax.

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