Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Quotations of The Day: Taxes Edition

From Ezra Klein in the Washington Post,
For the record, I don’t agree with the policies the GOP is pushing under the guise of deficit reduction, but I think they’re right to see an opportunity for reform rather than a math problem that needs to be solved. A world in which we stop taxing work so heavily and begin taxing carbon is much preferable to a world in which we just jack up taxes on work. A world where we’re saving money through a strong public option is a lot better than a world in which we’re saving money by reducing health-care benefits. It’s better to save money through reforms that make the state work better than to simply make it do less and tax more. (HT Big Boy Blogger Andrew Sullivan)
From the Madville Times Governor Daugaard: Flood Schmud! Vacation in South Dakota!
Remember, out-of-state friends, Dennis’s next budget depends on your sales tax dollars. So don’t cancel that South Dakota vacation! Come camp at Lake Herman! Visit Prairie Village and Madville Times World Headquarters! And buy a lot of Bundy Burgers! 
Finally a whole post from Matt Yglesias,

Lori Montgomery’s reporting in the Washington Post makes clear, though it doesn’t explicitly come out and say, that if you oppose reductions in federal spending in the United States then today you have no more influential friend than Grover Norquist. Right now you have a debate on Capitol Hill in which the pivotal players, moderate Democratic Party legislators and the Obama White House, want to reduce spending. But the deal’s not getting done since conservative Republicans aren’t taking yes for an answer.
And it’s Norquist who’s playing the biggest part in feeding rejectionism:
On Capitol Hill, Norquist has admonished Coburn (Okla.), Crapo (Idaho) and Chambliss (Ga.) for suggesting a tax option for tackling the debt: reducing credits and deductions worth an estimated $1 trillion a year. Although most of the cash would be used to lower tax rates for everyone, a portion would be dedicated to restoring national solvency.
No good, says Norquist’s group, Americans for Tax Reform. Under the pledge, raising revenue in any way requires an equal tax cut elsewhere to avoid expanding the size of government. And, yes, that sometimes means protecting tax breaks that Republicans view as bad public policy, Norquist and his supporters say.
Follow the logic here. According to the Norquistian theology, a good small-government conservative can’t agree to close a tax loophole that’s bad public policy in order to entice Democrats into agreeing to spending cuts. You can’t achieve efficiency enhancing reforms to the tax code by using the prospect of enhanced revenue as a sweetener, and you can’t broaden the coalition for spending cuts by using enhanced revenue as a sweetener. So the tax code stays inefficient and the spending level stays high, all so the members of the True Faith can be unsullied in the purity of their complaints about the inefficiency of the tax code and the high level of spending.(emphasis in original)
 In short, stubborn people are going to prevent changes that will make tax policy more fair.

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