Tax Reform, He Cried

by Jonah Goldberg

Well, that sound you hear is Rich Lowry cackling. The triangulation has truly begun with Obama’s announcement that he wants to pursue tax reform in 2011. Or has it? If you listen to (or read) the NPR interview, his priority still seems to be spreading the wealth around.

Here’s one thing that I don’t think will change. And that is that people like myself who have been incredibly blessed and who have a lot more income and wealth can afford to pay more than we currently are paying. I strongly believe that. I believed that during the campaign for president. I believed it when I was campaigning during these midterms. I still believe it.

And so the fight about what the top 1 percent or 2 percent of America should be contributing as part of our contribution to rebuilding America and putting it on a competitive footing — that basic principle is one that I continue to believe in and I will be fighting for over the next two years.

Now as a matter of substance Obama’s position is defensible, obviously, even if I don’t necessarily agree with it (though I would accept paying somewhat more in taxes for a much better tax system). But is reforming the tax code in order to make the rich pay more really a viable path to triangulating against the base of his own party? Is that really what people mean by triangulating?  It sure doesn’t sound like it to me.