Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Two Different Responses to Tax Day

Even for those who are filing an income tax extension, today marks the one time of the year for voters to ask themselves whether they can spend their paychecks better than Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton.

John McCain, to his credit, understands that Americans are taxed too much, and that the very complexity of calculating the tax owed is a huge economic drain; the federal tax rules now exceed 66,000 pages. Consequently, McCain has proposed simplifying the tax system to two rates (as well as suspending the federal gas tax for the summer). This move to tax simplification and tax reduction is sweeping Eastern Europe, including Russia, where countries have enacted low, flat rates with few deductions or exemptions.

Instead of discussing how to reform the tax code, however, Democrats mark April 15th by attempting to link the cost of the war to credit shortfalls in our domestic economy. Even the Washington Post disputes that connection:

"You should support the war or oppose the war, which I do and have done from the start, on the merits of the war itself," said Martin N. Baily, a former chairman of President Bill Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers. But, he added, "the current problems the United States is facing have very little to do with the war in Iraq."

One other point to keep in mind as we file with the IRS: Democrats want to repeal the Bush tax cuts; their budget so states. That would result in the largest tax hike in American history -- $1.2 trillion. For a middle-class family of four with two children earning $60,000, that would translate to a tax increase of nearly $2,000 — a 70 percent increase in their taxes, according to OMB director Jim Nussle.

Barack Obama may be an insufferable snob with a racist pastor, and Hillary Clinton may win an award for the biggest whoppers and the slimiest husband. But their voting records are indistinguishable. Either one of them would raise taxes considerably, not just on the super-rich but on the middle-class.

A vote for John McCain is a vote for lower taxes than we'd suffer under an Obama or Clinton administration. Pity that election day doesn't fall on April 15th.

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