Sunday, October 29, 2006

NYT Blasts Bush/Walsh Tax Talk

The New York Times has an editorial today blasting the Walsh/Bush line about raising taxes:

One of President Bush’s be-very-afraid lines this campaign season is that Democrats, if elected, will raise taxes. What he doesn’t say is that if you are one of tens of millions of Americans who make between $75,000 and $500,000 a year, your taxes are already scheduled to rise starting next year — because of laws that Mr. Bush championed and other actions he failed to take.

The higher taxes stem from the alternative minimum tax, a levy that is supposed to snare multimillionaires who would otherwise get away with using excessive tax shelters to wipe out their tax bills. But these days, the alternative tax is snaring many upper-middle-income filers.

Mr. Bush set the trap in 2001 — and in 2003, 2004 and 2006. In each of those years, he flogged for new tax cuts without requiring corresponding long-term changes in the existing rules for the alternative tax. It was well known that failure to update the alternative tax would create perverse interactions with the new tax cuts, causing filers’ tax bills to drop because of the cuts, only to shoot back up again from the alternative levy.

[...]

The president wants to push off the day of reckoning until he leaves the White House, while whipping up voter fear of future tax increases. But the reality is that he and his supporters have laid the groundwork for higher taxes and hamstrung government, no matter who is in office in the months and years to come.

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