My column from today's Roll Call explains why all of last week's protests about taxes should be taken with a grain, if not a whole shaker, of salt.
Tax Complainers Only Looking at One Side of Budget
April 20, 2010
Between the perennial use of April 15 to protest federal taxes, all of the misguided hype about something called tax freedom day, and the public relations stunts staged by tea party folks, you had to look very hard last week to realize that the federal government spends as well as taxes and actually does things for people rather than just demands financial tribute from them.
I was looking for something clever to post on Tax Day and found it courtesy of Diane Lim Rogers at EconomistMom:
For all the complaining you have done on your Senate campaign trail, and then your presidential campaign trail, and now even as President about how unaffordable and unfair and in general not very smart the Bush tax cuts were, why is it that the centerpiece of your–emphasis on your–tax policy thus far is the deficit-financed extension of the vast majority of these very same (not very smart) tax cuts?
I could hardly believe my ears just now, watching former Reagan OMB Director Dave Stockman pronounce the end of the tax cut era on the PBS Newshour.
Stockman started by lambasting Wall Street gunslingers, of which he was one, for wrecking the financial system. Then he cited the AIG bailout as the worst policy mistake of our era. Then he said the deficits will have to be addressed, that the Reagan tax cuts failed to restrain government spending, and that we'll be forced to raise taxes from now on. That's an amazing turnaround from one of the original supply side torch bearers.
Just before noon today, President Barack Obama proposed five new middle class benefits that will be detailed in his budget next Monday: