June 8, 2006

The Noonan-Bakst Resonance

Carroll Andrew Morse

Here’s Peggy Noonan in today’s OpinionJournal talking about Republicans, Democrats and taxes...

Democrats use complexity as a thing to hide behind when they talk about taxes. Republicans can say, and can mean, "I hate taxes and will cut them." Democrats can't say that, because they don't hate taxes and in fact will raise them. Though they will not say it. They will say, "Tax cuts on the top 10% of income earners are nonprogressive and unhelpful, and I will cut their tax cut, or hike their taxes, and in turn make commensurate cuts on the taxes of the most deserving lower income taxpayers, though not in a way that will negatively impact the deficit."

When voters hear this they know exactly what it means: We will raise taxes.

And here's Charles Bakst in today's Projo describing what may be a specific instance of Ms. Noonan's general principle…
[Lincoln] Chafee opposed Mr. Bush's tax cuts. [Sheldon] Whitehouse's advertising calls for repeal of the "Bush tax cuts for the rich." [Steve] Laffey said the cuts are "very good for America," and if Whitehouse "thinks higher taxes are better, let him put forth that message." Ditto, he said, for Chafee.

Laffey wants to debate the tax cuts with these guys.

Any takers among the candidates and TV stations?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

Ever heard of a backhanded compliment? Because you just gave one. The Bush tax cuts are for the rich. Why? When the federal government racks up massive deficits, as they do now, the middle- and lower-classes end up paying for it during the weaker economies. Bush presided over a recession economy in his first term, and a stagnant economy in his second.

What the junk were these tax cuts good for? The rich can buy yachts in any kind of economy. Steve Laffey, the millionaire, will be hurt a lot less by tax cuts than will myself. I work at Ford. I can't buy diddly. I'm poor, and my riich neighbors are raking it in hand-over-fist. I Pray that Laffey won't take office. I don't need the rich to get any richer. I can barely pay my own medical bills.

Posted by: Robert Ford at June 9, 2006 2:12 AM

Steve Laffey. Married twice. twice as rich as me and you. Half as smart.

Posted by: Andrew Drake at June 9, 2006 2:15 AM

Just in from a night of drinking?

Posted by: JSheehan at June 9, 2006 6:16 AM

What Robert and his ilk like to ignore is that the treasury has taken in MORE money in taxes with the LOWER tax rate than they did under the higher rates.

Now THAT is an "Inconvenient Truth"

But I encourage the left to continue to push for high taxes and 'economic equality' for everyone regardless of whether they decide they want to WORK at being successful or not. It's an idea the American people have repeatedly and will continue to reject.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2006 7:29 AM

The profound thoughts of "Robert Ford" and "Andrew Drake" bear a striking resemblance to those of Ian Lang.

Chafee and Casablanca don't have the cojones to debate Laffey on any issue. Period.

P.S., did you see that Chafee sided with nearly every Democrat and essentially voted to keep the Death Tax? Still flexing that liberal mojo...


Posted by: oz at June 9, 2006 9:05 AM

The whole tax-cuts-for-the-rich argument is predicated on the belief that the rich will let the fruits of said cuts trickle down through the other economic strata.
Unfortunately, the corporate and individual recipients of these cuts have done nothing to make the above scenario come true.
If somebody can give me a legitimate reason to believe more tax cuts for the rich will benefit those of us farther down the ladder, I'm all ears.

Posted by: Rhody at June 9, 2006 1:46 PM

Give a person more money and they don't stash it in their mattress. They SPEND it. On clothes, furniture, cars, gas, landscaping, peanut butter, etc... All of those goods and services rely on PEOPLE to manufacture, package, transport, market, distribute and sell. So one 'rich' person with more money is likely to potentially benefit MANY people that supply them goods and services.

And I'm not rich, and I got a tax cut. And I bet you did too, lib. If you're so offended by the idea, take your extra earnings and give them to charity.

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2006 1:57 PM

Rhody and Robert,

According the FactCheck.org, repealing the Bush tax cut would raise taxes of a family of four making $35,000-per-year by $1,897.


And you're calling that a "tax cut for the rich".

That's Noonan 1, high-tax advocates 0.

Posted by: Andrew at June 9, 2006 2:55 PM

Oh, please, Greg, leave off with the nonsense about tax cuts increasing revenue. It's utter crap that has been disproved countless times. Look at any graph of gov't revenue from 2000-present and you will see a HUGE drop from 2001-2003. Then, when the curve starts up in 2003, the bushies use this to "prove" that the tax cuts worked.

However: there were tax cuts in 2001; since revenue dropped after that, by your logic, that means the first round of tax cuts obviously did NOT work. Right?

You are also forgetting to distinguish between real increases and nominal increases in revenue. Revenue is up--in nominal terms, which means not adjusted for inflation. In real terms, tax revenue as a % of GDP is around 19%, which is the lowest percentage since Eisenhower. Since the gov't is spending approx 23% of GDP, there is a huge gap between revenue and expenditure, which is known as the deficit.

What you fail to realize is that the creation of a deficit is the functional equivalent of a tax deferrment, not a tax cut. A real tax cut requires cuts in spending, but George II has not had the political courage to do that in any meaningful way. According to Bruce Bartlett, an economist who worked in the St Ronnie admin, balancing the budget, given current revenue levels, would pretty require that we cut all social spending AND the entire Dept of Defense. Are you all prepared for that step?

Face it: George II has not cut taxes; he has just pushed them down the road onto our kids and our grandkids. That is seriously irresponsible.

Posted by: klaus at June 9, 2006 3:11 PM

I guess the next president should seriously cut spending to right the ship.

Guess welfare is toast. And social security for illegal aliens. And NPR. And....

Posted by: Greg at June 9, 2006 4:08 PM

Laffey is, as always, an incoherent gas bag playing to the ignorant. The plain fact is the Laffey has proved he likes taxes just fine. He certainly has raised them enough in Cranston. Not that I blame him for that, he has had little choice given the bi-partisan legacy of mismanagement he inherited in Cranston.

The fact is the national GOP, as exemplified by the GOP Congress and Administration likes tax increases just fine. They just don't like taking responsibility for them. Their spending orgy since 2001, financed by massive debt, will be paid for in the form of future tax increases by a future Congress. Our foreign creditors will demand nothing less.

Posted by: Ken at June 12, 2006 6:42 PM

My overall taxes have gone up since 2000 (property taxes anyone?), along with the national deficit, healthcare costs and gas/oil prices.

Posted by: bren at June 18, 2006 9:25 PM