Friday, December 14, 2007

So, Hillary and Billy would soak the rich


Maybe there was nothing new in the Dems' debate in Iowa yesterday. Not that much. But conservatives are picking up on Hillary's desire to roll back Bush tax cuts for the rich, and try to give the middle class a tax break. The Washington Times story today by Christina Bellantoni is "Hillary would raise taxes on rich," here. Husband Bill, after all, was able to run federal budget surpluses, however pre 9/11 (and missing the boat on all the Al Qaeda warnings in the 90s).

Ah, here we are again, with that basic ideological debate. Back in the early 1970s, I sat in a drafty Newark NJ rowhouse listening to "Peoples Party of New Jersey" (Dr. Spock) tirades about limiting incomes to $50000 a year (that's poverty now, almost), and eliminating the greatest moral evil of all, unearned inherited wealth. Pit that the roll back of death taxes (itself a complicated topic). Even now, I hear people rant about "rich people" as the source of basic evil. The conservatives come back and say that family values and abstinence outside of marriage, etc., somehow justifies some people have more than others, as long as you owe your soul your blood family. But it's not too far from that to outright tribalism.

Steve Forbes used to talk sense with the flat tax, and Harry Browne used to say around 1996, repeal the income tax and replace it with nothing. The Left wing has always pointed out that sales or "consumption" taxes are inherently regressive. Back in the early 1950s, the tax rate on the highest income bracket was a whopping 92%.

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