Thursday, March 03, 2005

Hell freezes over

A couple of days ago, Donald Luskin linked to Paul Krugman's latest New York Times op-ed. I finally got around to reading it, and Don's completely right. Only a liberal would be afraid to pass a particular tax increase because it "would make it much harder to pass other tax increases, frustrating efforts to do something about the deficit." Only a liberal would advocate balancing the budget via tax hikes, instead of cutting government spending.

Krugman's piece is merely lip-service to his January promise to suggest "strengthen[ing] the program." OK, he did take a stab at why he says privatization is bad, except all he could do was say, "private accounts, once established, would be used as a tool to whittle down traditional guaranteed benefits." Gosh, imagine that: people would get better returns for their savings and be less dependent on the government!

I couldn't believe something else Krugman said. He's actually against raising taxes on higher wage-earners?!
What [raising the payroll tax maximum] would do, instead, would be to get in the way of any return to fiscal sanity. After all, raising the maximum taxable income would be a fairly stiff tax increase for some taxpayers. For example, someone making $140,000 a year might owe an extra $6,000. And the taxpayers who would be hit hardest by this tax increase would, in many cases, be the same people who will face a growing burden from the alternative minimum tax.
Good heavens. Krugman defending upper-income taxpayers? Satan's going shopping for a parka!

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