Tax C-C-C-C ..... Changes: NYT Won't ID Major Irish Economic Success Factor
In an article (HT Jim Taranto at Best of the Web) describing Ireland's emergence as an European Union powerhouse ("Entrepreneurship Takes Off in Ireland"), reporter James Flanigan of the New York Times simply could not bring himself to specifically identify one of the main reasons for the country's success (bolds are mine):
Ireland is now alive with enthusiasm for entrepreneurs, who seemingly rank just below rock stars in popularity.
..... The relatively new emphasis on entrepreneurs in Ireland is the culmination of nearly four decades of government policies that have lifted the economy from centuries of poverty to modern prosperity.
The change began when Ireland entered the European Union in 1973. In subsequent years, the government rewrote its tax policies to attract foreign investment by American corporations, made all education free through the university level and changed tax rates and used direct equity investment to encourage Irish people to set up their own businesses.
“The change came in the 1990s,” said James Murphy, founder and managing director of Lifes2Good, a marketer of drugstore products for muscle aches, hair loss and other maladies. “Taxes and interest rates came down, and all of a sudden we believed in ourselves.”
So tax rates "changed," eh? And we learn in the next paragraph that "taxes and interest rates came down," as if by some external supernatural force.
Are you noticing a chronic case of word avoidance?
The reason taxes "came down," of course, is that they were proactively C-U-T, cut (the word "cut" does not appear even once in the article).
Flanigan did eventually get to describing the cuts, but still managed to avoid the C-word:
The Times's C-word allergy is all the more maddening because, like so many other Old Media outlets, it doesn't hesitate to describe reductions in projected spending increases in government programs as "cuts," even though, virtually without exception, year-over-year dollars spent continue to increase. You would think that employing the three-letter C-word when a cut actually does occur -- even a dreaded tax cut -- wouldn't be that difficult. But it clearly is.
Government help for Irish entrepreneurs grew out of an overall economic policy devised in 1987 that reduced personal taxes, said Kevin Sherry, a director of Enterprise Ireland who specializes in start-up companies.
Income tax rates in Ireland today are 20 percent on the first $50,000 of income and 41 percent on income above that. But there are value-added taxes of 21 percent levied on all goods and transactions, with the exception of health and medical services, children’s clothing and food.
The tax on corporate profits, though, is 12.5 percent, which is an incentive to own a business.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.