For those of you who were confused, that was an article in today’s New York Times complaining about the lack of tax cuts in the two reform proposals offered by the president’s advisory panel last week.
For those that missed it, Edmund L. Andrews wrote a piece this morning about the recommendations of this panel for future reforms to America’s tax code. In it, he appeared disappointed that there were no significant tax cuts being proposed:
“However sensible those ideas may be, they fall far short of a radical overhaul. Neither of the proposals would have replaced today's system with a flat tax or a pure consumption tax, the goal of many Republican conservatives. More important, neither of the proposals would significantly lower existing tax rates - a crucial attraction of the 1986 overhaul.”
Lowering tax rates is a "crucial attraction?" Given the Times normal proclivity against tax cuts – a Google search of the phrase “New York Times against tax cuts” produced almost 14 million results! – this does seem to be an oddity. This is especially true given an editorial from just 24 hours earlier entitled “The Time Is Wrong For Tax Cuts”:
“Today's budget is decidedly unhealthy, and more tax cuts will only make the big deficits worse. That's bound to drive up interest rates, making it more expensive for businesses to borrow money. Economists say that will lead to less investment and less growth.”
Makes one wonder how that paragraph wasn’t edited out of Andrews piece today. Or, much like many articles and news reports from the mainstream media after the Harriet Miers nomination, was this another attempt to demonstrate how separated the president appears to be from his Conservative base at this time?
“Staunch conservatives who would like to replace the income tax entirely with a national sales tax were underwhelmed. ‘Nibbling around the edges,’ complained Representative John Linder, a Georgia Republican.
“‘Small and quite complicated, and that's exactly what we're trying to get away from,’ said Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina.”