TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Bloomberg: Congress Wrangles Over Bush's Expiring Tax Cuts

Interesting article on Bloomberg: Congress Wrangles Over Bush's Expiring Tax Cuts, by John M. Berry:

The high-stakes revenue wars have begun again, with some Republicans complaining that the Democrats controlling Congress are planning the biggest tax increase in U.S. history. As usual, the rhetoric is overblown, especially the claims that any tax increase would sink the economy.

What isn't so usual is that the potential tax increases worrying the Republicans will occur if nothing is done, because many of the tax cuts enacted since President George W. Bush took office six years ago will expire in the next two or three years unless legislation extending them is passed. If that happens, Republicans have only themselves to blame, because the expiration dates were set originally to mislead the public about the amount of revenue loss involved. Of course, from the beginning the plan was to argue that letting the cuts expire would impose tax increases that would harm the economy and cost jobs.

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I'm not so sure of your reason for making the tax cuts temporary. As I remember from the time, that was a necessary concession to get the Democrats to allow passage without a filibuster. Also, it appears that revenues in the long run were not lost but are coming in at record paces, which was predicted by the Republicans at the time and as occured with tax cuts under Kennedy and Reagan; and, this would not have been something over which to "mislead the public." In addition, it was an economic stimulus, which also proved true given new investments, the record stock market, and low unemployment.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 28, 2007 4:31:01 PM

I didn't mean you but John Berry at Bloomberg. Sorry.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 28, 2007 4:32:37 PM