In the Arena

Why Politicians Don’t Take Risks

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Headline of Press Release from the Democratic National Committee:

Bush Pushes Health Care Tax Increase
In The Show Me State

Readers of this blog know that I slagged Bush’s non-plan the other day…but, as I wrote then, the one positive feature was his limit on the deductability of health insurance. Yes, this is a tax increase. And hurray for that–if it can be structured properly to protect lower to middle income families with special health needs.
But please: Is the DNC saying it’s against tax increases? I certainly hope not. More likely, it is responding to the feral anti-tax demagoguery perpetually visited on Democrats by Republican supply siders. If so, that’s dopey. There needs to be a real restructuring of the tax code. This will involve increasing taxes for some, and using the revenues for things like universal health coverage for the working poor.
I also agree with Al Gore that we should slap on a hefty carbon tax and use the proceeds to reduce regressive payroll taxes. But that’s another post.