All Together Now: "Another GOP Lie"
As Redstate.com so giddily confesses, the GOP feels they finally have an election-time talking point they can agree on (I guess keeping the nation safe from terrorism is too divisive a topic for them now):
All Together Now: 'The Largest Tax Increase in History'It's a compelling talking point, I'll agree. And if they could manage to get the public to swallow it, they might have a winner come November 2008. The only problem is, this notion of "the largest tax increase in U.S. history" is simply another GOP lie. The always amazing Hilzoy over at Obsidian Wings explains why:
If yesterday's House Republican Conference bloggers' event in the U.S. Capitol taught me one thing, it's that Republicans have finally found an issue to rally around. Seven conservative bloggers heard from 28 members of Congress (I've posted more than 100 photos on Flickr). While some Republicans deviated from the script (most notably former Speaker Dennis Hastert), nearly everyone used the occasion to rail against the Democrats' budget proposal, which amounts to the largest tax increase in U.S. history.
[H]ere's what [the GOP's] "largest tax increase in U.S. history" actually comes to: the Republicans passed a series of tax cuts that they set up to expire. They intended to make them permanent, but never got around to it. The Democrats are proposing to leave their tax cuts alone. But this counts as a tax increase, apparently on the grounds that whatever Republicans sorta kinda thought they were going to do, but never actually got around to doing, counts as already done, and anyone who proposes to leave things alone counts as undoing the things they were intending to do. [all emphasis mine]Hilzoy goes on to have fun with this talking point (what else should one do with pure fantasy?). But here's the real retort to this Republican revisionism:
How did the Democrats manage to create an automatic tax increase? Don't tax increases normally have to be enacted? I hope so. It would be awful if tax increases could just happen automatically. Come to think of it, it would be even worse if it turns out that this isn't confined to the tax code, and all sorts of laws could be passed automatically. I mean, who knows what the US Code might decide to do to itself, without the intervention of any human agent? We could wake up one morning to find that ping pong had been automatically criminalized, or that a requirement that all Americans wear silly clown costumes had automatically come into force, or that all our national parks had automatically sold themselves to WalMart. The possibilities are horrifying.So essentially the Republicans are all giddy that they can now blame Democrats for not correcting their own mistakes. If further evidence that they are simply out of ideas and should be out of office was needed, this should do it.
Imagine my relief when I realized what was actually going on. The Bush tax cuts are set to expire automatically. They were written that way. What the Democrats are proposing to do is simply not to change this.