Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just call it a "loophole", whatever

Robert Novak reports on Obama's plan to pay for $800 billion in new spending by "closing tax loopoholes":

Obama has made clear that he would try to roll back President Bush's tax cuts, but that does not come under the definition of a "loophole." A loophole consists of a conniving tax attorney discovering a weakness in the Internal Revenue Code or such a weakness intentionally legislated by Congress under the instigation of crafty lobbyists. The only specific tax legislation contained in his paper would raise the capital gains rate for most shareholders, restore taxation on dividend income to pre-Bush standards and restore the full estate tax.

These were not loopholes but presidential proposals enacted by Congress. The Obama paper paints a picture of lobbyists running wild on Capitol Hill but neglects to assess the impact on the economy during the current financial crisis of taking a serious strike against the stockholding public.

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