The Corner

The Washington Post On Taxes

From a news story by Charles Babington: “Hastert added that ‘I am not telling a lie’ when talking of Kerry’s proposal to roll back some of President Bush’s tax cuts, which Republicans label a tax increase.” Which Republicans label a tax increase? Two years ago there was a debate in which Republicans said that Democratic plans to keep scheduled tax cuts from coming into effect were tax increases, and Democrats denied it. I tentatively agreed with the Republican position, but the Democratic position was at least arguable. But the tax cuts that Kerry seeks to undo have already taken effect. He’s not just saying that he wants the top tax rates in 2006 to be higher than they would otherwise have been in 2006. He wants them to be higher in 2006 than they are now, in 2004. How is that not a tax increase?

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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