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TAX CUT DELAY?

Republicans Disingenuously Charge Democrats -- By Calling For a Delay In Tax Cuts -- Are In Effect In Favor of a "Tax Increase"

Problem Is, Republican Analysis Utilizes Same Logic Republicans Rejected When Used by Democrats Against GOP

January 13, 2002

There is support among some Democrats -- such as Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) -- for delaying the next round of personal income tax cuts in President Bush's $1.35 trillion tax reduction plan, which was enacted last year.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer has said that President Bush believes any such delay or rollback would really be a tax increase.

It is just such fear of being labeled in favor of increasing taxes that apparently has many other Democrats reluctant to endorse such a move.

The logical proposition that delaying a reduction is tantamount to an increase is, I believe, a sound one.  On a given date, what you will be paying in taxes won't be reduced-according-to-schedule Amount A, but is instead, not-reduced-because-of-a-change-in-schedule Amount B.  Since Amount B is higher than Amount A, the amount of taxes you must pay on that date has been increased.

However, Republican invocation of this type of logic is disingenuous.   Remember when the Republican Congress was drastically cutting domestic spending programs?  Republican spokespersons, as well as talk show GOP mouthpieces like Sean Hannity, expressed their outrage and indignation at being accused of cutting these programs, which helped the needy.  These programs weren't being cut, Hannity et al thundered.  The rate of increase in spending was merely being reduced.

Well, if a reduction in an increase is not a cut, according to Republicans, I don't see how they can then turn around and argue that a delay in a reduction is an increase.

As for the idea of delaying the tax cuts, why don't the Democrats play it smart?  One of the valid criticisms of Bush's tax cut plan is that the reductions are heavily skewed toward the wealthiest taxpayers.  The Democrats should propose a delay in implementing the tax cuts only as applied to the upper brackets.  That way the only charge the Republicans could make would be that the Democrats are in favor of tax increases for the rich.

Maybe that's a charge the Democrats should be happy to live with.

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

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