The Corner

Santorum, Children, and Taxes

For at least the third time this month (the other two are here and here) the Wall Street Journal this weekend says that Rick Santorum “wants to triple the per-child tax credit.”

 

As a champion of the Ponnuru-Stein tax reform, I would back such a move, assuming it could be done in a revenue-neutral way, and given his past positions it’s possible that Santorum would too. But that is not what he has proposed. As his website makes clear (and as he has said), he proposes “tripling the personal deduction for each child” while leaving the tax credit unchanged. The difference between tripling the credit and the deduction is no small matter. In fact, given lower rates Santorum proposes more generally, I’m not sure tripling the personal deduction is worth the trouble. But in any case, if the Journal is going to write about his proposal (and especially if they’re going to criticize it at some length in an editorial, as they did here) they ought to get it right.

Yuval Levin is the director of social, cultural, and constitutional studies at the American Enterprise Institute and the editor of National Affairs.

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