The Corner

Tax Cuts or Not?

Larry K., you underestimate the political paradox posed by an effort to reform the Alternative Minimum Tax. If Democrats offer a genuinely serious AMT reform that manages to cut taxes for tens of millions of middle-class people, the constituency for vetoing such a reform on the grounds that it would involve a tax-rate increase on those making more than $150,000 a year could fit comfortably into a Tokyo hotel room. The problem with Democratic tax plans has always been that they end up raising taxes on the middle class and small business. If they actually try a middle-class tax cut that aids small businesspeople, it will be a revolution and could begin to break the Republican hold on the tax-cut issue.

As for the Social Security reform plan, if Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson really skipped out on his $100 million bonus from Goldman Sachs just so he could fight for this one, he’s a wonderfully well-intentioned and unbelievably  self-sacrificing public servant with a vital interest in the common weal to whom, one day, I would like to sell a bridge to Brooklyn. 

Most Popular


The Metropolitan Museum of Art Defaces Its Façade

The facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, designed by Richard Morris Hunt in 1902, contains four large niches that might display sculpture but have traditionally been left empty. This was prudent good taste on the Met's part, since sculpture on buildings is a tricky business that few artists in our age of ... Read More

Story Time with David Brooks

His latest column imagines a future in which Elizabeth Warren wins the next presidential election. Warren won convincingly. The Democrats built a bigger majority in the House, and to general surprise, won a slim Senate majority of 52 to 48. After that election, the Republicans suffered a long, steady decline. ... Read More