Højrefløj mod skattelettelser

Wall Street Journals Brendan Miniter spekulerer i sin klumme dagens WSJ i, at vindene i USA–desværre–synes at være ved at vende m.h.t. Republikanernes syn på skattelettelser og skattetrykket.

Efter i knap 30 år at have en ihvertfald i retorikken, men ofte også i praksis, radikal tilgang til skatterne, er de amerikanske konservative nu ved at blive konservative i ordets mere konserverende forstand. Det er naturligvis også sjovest at være mod skattetrykket, når det er modstanderne, der sidder på statsapparatet; når man selv sidder på flæsket, bliver man på forunderligvis lidt mere opmærksom på, hvor svært det kan være at gennemføre skattelettelser–og hvor attraktivt det er at dele andres penge ud til ting, man godt kan lide. Så får skatterne pudsigt nok omtrent den størrelse, som skatter nu engang gerne skal have.

Her er noget af, hvad Miniter skriver:

"Like Reagan, President Bush has been bold in pushing for tax cuts. He didn't flinch on cutting the top income tax rate in 2001. In 2003, when the economy still appeared to be shaky, he pushed through a second round of cuts, including on dividends and capital gains. But here too Republicans seem to have set an arbitrary floor on how low they'll allow taxes to fall. Mr. Bush's top income tax rate is still a few points higher than Reagan's top rate. And both rounds of the Bush tax cuts were given expiration dates, so Republicans will have to fight the same battles over again in the next couple of years just to keep the tax rates where they are now. There's also the small issue of tax reform this year. The president is promising to "simplify the code," but he's not pushing for a second-term tax cut to go along with an easier-to-fill-out tax return–a clear sign that even officials high up in the Bush administration are working off the assumption that there is little to be gained economically or politically from cutting taxes further.

Conservatives were once able to demand unwavering support for cutting taxes of almost every candidate who wanted a Republican nomination. Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, even developed a pledge that Republican candidates had to sign if they want to be taken seriously. The first President Bush famously broke his pledge, and everyone on the right could read his lips as he conceded defeat to Bill Clinton in 1992. This era of big, dramatic tax cuts, however, may now be over."

Det lyder næsten bekendt–bortset fra at vi danskere ikke nåede at se meget til denne "era of big, dramatic tax cuts".

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