Media Blog

Why Does the Times Hate Tax Cuts More Than Farm Subsidies?

Today’s lead editorial in the New York Times (editorials are still free) hammers away on the familiar Times cause of making sure Americans are taxed as much as possible:

Last week, Republican leaders pledged to push ahead with more deficit-inducing tax cuts for the wealthy – costing up to $70 billion over five years. Their most cherished is an extension for two years of temporary low rates for dividends and capital gains, scheduled to expire in 2008. About half of those cuts would flow to people making more than $1 million a year.

America’s farm subsidies cost taxpayers over $17 billion a year, or $85 billion over five years — $15 billion more than the $70 billion in cuts we find the Times so upset about. If the Times weighed in with the same ferocity against farm subsidies as they do against tax cuts, maybe the issue would have more prominence in the national debate. The Times ed board doesn’t like farm subsidies — mostly because they go to wealthy farming co-ops at the expense of poor farmers in the developing world — but it absolutely loathes the idea that Americans, not the government, should be making decisions about where to allocate their money. For liberals it’s always the taxes, never the spending — not even the spending they disagree with.

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