Thursday, May 10, 2012

Catch of the Day

Goes to Matt Yglesias, for pointing out that today's House vote to scale back the Child Tax Credit for low-income filers is, well, a tax increase.

Over at Greg's place today, I wrote about today's vote, pointing out that they were cutting spending on popular domestic programs in order to avoid the sequester on military spending -- and in fact, to restore some of the national security cuts made last summer. But I totally missed what Yglesias noticed.  There's no question about it; Republicans certainly would count, say, phasing out any credit or deduction so that upper-income taxpayers had higher overall taxes as an increase. Which we all know is absolutely completely and massively forbidden. Except, apparently, when it isn't, which is apparently when it's targeted to low-income parents. So next time you hear Republicans say they would never, ever, ever do the big T, you might want to ask them: What, never?

And: nice catch!


  1. Well personally I am waiting for the Grover Norquist explosion now that all but 16 House GOP reps broke his "no new taxes" pledge. I wonder if this just shows that the House GOP members and staff are sloppy and not very good and legislating to miss things like this, or have they really bought into the whole "lucky ducky" theory of taxation and its now really one of their legislative goals.

  2. It is indeed a tax increase.

    The Republican position is not that we will never raise taxes, come hell nor high water. Rather, it is that tax increases should be the last resort. In these tough times we all have to tighten our belts, and if we are going to raise taxes, best that it be on those who are not paying their fair share. Half of Americans pay no federal income tax - when Reagan was President, 85% paid. Of course the moochers and looters should be held accountable.

    1. Here's the pledge signed by almost all the Rs:

      "ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses; and
      TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

      Yes they broke their pledge, but I think the average American should be proud to pay a little more in order to protect rich people from unfair taxation.

    2. They did not break their pledge, and it is absurd that you should say so. Re-read the statement about eliminating tax credits, particularly the "unless" part.

  3. >>>>>The Republican position is not that we will never raise taxes, come hell nor high water.

    That is indeed the Republican message (cf the famous 10:1 hand-raise). Obviously it's not the Republican position, which is that Democrats rely on tax credits to the poor and higher rates on the rich to augment their de facto welfare state, so that elminating tax credits for the poor is rolling back the welfare state, not raising taxes.

    It's simple to grab once you accept that Republicans latched onto something everyone dislikes paying -- taxes! -- to sell their very vanilla agenda of higher taxes on the poor and lower taxes on the rich, coupled with fewer services for the poor. I can't emphasize enough that this is not a radical agenda. Actually demolishing the income tax altogether would be radical, for example. Structuring taxes to benefit the well-off at the expense of people making substantially less? Not really radical.

    That's why it's unfair to describe right wingers as a sort of ideological freakshow heretofore unseen. We've always seen people like the Republicans, who condemn the poor as lazy and celebrate the rich as, literally, the reason the poor even have their livlihoods. It's not new.


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