Monday, March 31, 2003

Tax Cut Ideology, Continued: Eugene Volokh unwinds a very leading poll question from the Washington Post:
As you may know, Bush has proposed a 726 billion dollar tax cut over the next 10 years. The Senate has voted to reduce that to 350 billion dollars in order to help pay for the war, reduce the deficit and shore up the Social Security fund. Do you support or oppose this reduction in Bush's proposed tax cut?
I'll leave the fairness of the poll in Eugene's capable hands. What struck me was one of the "pushes" in the question: using the money "saved" by reducing the tax package to "reduce the deficit" (i.e., treating tax policy like spending policy). The ultimate cause of the deficit is that the government spends more that it takes in. Imagine if I blew my salary on a trip to the islands, went into hock to pay for food for my family, went to my boss to ask for a raise to "reduce my deficit," and then (when he rightly refused) complained that he's heartlessly denying my children food. Well, as soon as there was a foreseeable surplus, back in the 90s, the government took a trip to the islands.

No comments: