The Corner

THE TAX CUTS

The extension through the end of 2010 passed, and by a bigger margin in the House than I had expected. I would have preferred for the original tax cuts to have been enacted without expiration dates. Politically, though, hasn’t it worked out better for Republicans to do the tax cuts this way? It’s not just that they couldn’t have been enacted without the expiration dates. It’s also that votes on extending them have allowed the Republicans, year after year, to get a little bit of advantage from being the party that wants to keep taxes low. The Republicans have been able, that is, to get benefits from the same tax cuts several times over. . . . At the same time, doesn’t the extension of the tax cuts through the end of 2010 lower the downside for conservatives of Democratic gains in the House this fall?

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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