Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Republican Tax Travesty

It used to be that Republicans were the party of lower taxes. Not anymore:
On March 19, the House of Representatives voted to impose a 90% tax on the incomes of certain executives of financial institutions receiving federal funds. What was remarkable about this vote is that 85 Republicans voted for this travesty. The consequences will be felt for years to come.

The history of tax policy is that it tends to go in one direction until there is a key event that establishes a new direction. Thus the vote by a Democratic Congress in favor of a lower capital gains tax in 1978 set the stage for the Reagan tax cut of 1981 and a decade of lower tax rates. When Republican George H.W. Bush switched gears and supported higher taxes in 1990 it presaged Bill Clinton's 1993 tax increase and many years of rising taxes.

A quick look at the list reveals no surprises. You'll find the usual suspects - Alexander, Hoekstra - but most are unfamiliar. They must think this following the tide of bonus resentment will serve them well at election time but more likely they'll come to regret it. That is, if the voters have a long enough memory.

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