Erik Larson

Mar 20, 2009

Tax them, not me

The WSJ editorial page will get you hatin’ on liberals , if anything can. (Maybe to be more precise: hatin’ on those on the Left who are sanctimonious about tax cuts.)

Here’s the deal. Obama has to get money into the government to pay for “reform”, which is to say, to finance an expansion of entitlements like health care, et cetera. How does he do this? One, he lets the Bush tax cuts expire in 2011, which puts them back to Clinton-era rates (top rate goes to 39.6% from 35%, 33% rate increases to 36%). Two, he caps the tax benefits for private donations at 28% for itemized tax filers in the top two income brackets, from 35% and 33%. In practical terms this just means that donating to non-profits, universities, and charities just got more “expensive”, in the sense that the tax break for donations is less.

So what’s the problem? No problem, unless you’re running a non-profit, university, or charity. Suddenly you have less money. And what do you know? The Left is up in arms. The Ivy League, United Jewish Appeal, The Independent Sector—hardly Big Business on the Right— are all preparing petitions. Don’t raise our taxes! Don’t raise our taxes!

This response from the Left, of course, gives the game away. No one likes taxes to be raised on them , and when it counts, everyone squeals. It’s a bipartisan squeal. Maybe liberals and conservatives can agree on this, and we can pull a little of the hypocricy on the Left out of the debate. The same folks whose lips slaver at the thought of knee capping Big Business are suddenly self-righteous about their own bottom line. But the money’s gotta come from somewhere, right? Buck up.