The Corner

Re: Buffetoonery

Buffet’s point is sometimes made in terms of time: a tax cut today means higher taxes tomorrow, and thus amounts to “borrowing from our kids.” But there is no one-for-one trade-off between taxes today and taxes tomorrow, any more than there is between your taxes and mine. As Andrew remarks, tax cuts may cause spending restraint. In addition, they might promote growth–which would reduce the amount of taxes or spending cuts necessary to bring the budget back to its previous position. To make this charge against the president’s tax plan is to assume that it will not stimulate growth; it is to assume that it will fail. Plenty of people share that view, but it has to be defended; and Buffet’s point has no independent force of its own.

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


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