Thursday, January 17, 2008
Interesting editorial in today's Wall Street Journal: Republicans and Taxes: Preparing for the Perfect Tax Storm of 2009-10:
As the rugby scrum that is the Republican Presidential race heads to South Carolina, the players are wrestling on conservative turf. So it's a good time to wrestle ourselves with an issue that has become a conservative signature -- taxes.
The good news is that all of the GOP candidates want to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, and each is talking about some kind of new tax cut or reform. Rather than burying Reaganomics, as many in the media want to do, these candidates are trying to update it for our current economic challenges. ...
With Democrats insisting on a giant tax increase, taxes will be a major issue this fall no matter who wins the GOP nod. And if a Republican does win the White House, a tax reform showdown is inevitable in 2009. The AMT continues to swallow more taxpayers, the death tax is due to expire for a single year in 2010 and then rise back to 55%, and the Bush tax cuts expire after 2010. This is a perfect storm that means the next President will have no choice but to make taxes a political priority.
It also presents the best opportunity for major tax reform since the 1980s. Even if Democrats retain Congress, Charlie Rangel will run House Ways and Means and he seems open to lower tax rates in return for a broader tax base. Republicans are right to make tax reduction and reform a major campaign theme, and voters who really do want to shake up Washington should consider who'd be best for that job.