Tuesday, December 03, 2002

Liberal Lighthouse - As much as conservatives despise him, Paul Krugman has a scathing column that exposes the true colors of the "tax cut" conservative crowd in a Wall Street Journal editorial. I haven't read this WSJ editorial because I don't subscribe to the newspaper and, as the WSJ commodifies everything, the average Joe unwilling or unable to pay for a subscription doesn't have the privilege of being enlightened by this newspaper's opinion. In any case, I don't think Krugman would make up a story as damning as this one without some concrete proof to back it up. The gist is that wealthy conservative "tax cutters," sick and tired of having to shoulder a tax burden that is seen as excessive, and under the delusion that people who live on below-poverty-line incomes do not cough up a significant portion of their meager incomes in taxes (whether income, payroll, or sales taxes), want to punish these poor folk by eliminating the tax breaks that they get just for being poor. Krugman's point seems solid to me. Regardless of how you feel about who gets more or less screwed by the tax code, it just doesn't make sense that tax cutters would argue that an effective increase in taxes on the poor somehow fits the logic of a "tax cutting" philosophy - unless, as Krugman claims, the reality for such people is a "tax cut" for the wealthy only. You'd think that fiscal conservatives would applaud the fact that some portion of the population doesn't pay income tax, as it keeps more disposable income in the market. Anyway, Krugman's biting sarcasm is appropriate, and the hypocrisy of conservatives as being pro-growth, anti-tax, and the "real" growth option for the poor is clearly exposed.

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