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3/07/2005

No Payroll Tax Increases

It appears that there is some agreement between liberal blogs and President Bush: Payroll tax hikes should not be part of any "solution" to the social security "crisis." Increasing revenue now (pre-funding) is only sensible if one accepts the validity of federal bonds. Republicans don't believe in the trust fund, dismissing it as empty IOUs. In the abstract, I think the word of the government is reliable; in reality, I think Republicans will break any covenant, sacrifice any lamb, in pursuit of power.

Increasing payroll taxes will do exactly three things:

  1. Let Republicans brand Democrats as tax hikers;
  2. Give Republicans more room to cut taxes on income and wealth;
  3. Finance more of Bush's reckless fiscal adventurism.
What payroll taxes will not do is quash the artificial "crisis" talk. Republicans will continue to preach the dogma of default and to deplete the reserves of American trust in our government. Which is their goal: to make permanent the wedge they have driven between the government and the people from which it derives its power.

 

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