Michael M. Weinstein wrote the "Editorial Observer" column in the New York
yesterday, citing the "Center for Tax Justice, a liberal research
group that uses standard economic models to study tax incidence" for the
proposition that "the bottom 60 percent of taxpayers would get only about
10 percent of the Bush tax-cut money." Weinstein must be referring to
Citizens for Tax Justice, about which he obviously knows little. It is a
propaganda shop, pure and simple.
The group stacks the deck by counting as "taxpayers" people who don't pay
any income taxes. True, the people who pay the most taxes would see the
most savings from Bush's plan. But Bush's tax cuts leave the distribution
of the tax burden basically unchanged although CTJ's tables don't give you
the information to see that. When evaluating how well Bush's plan lives up
to the promise of "compassionate conservatism," as Weinstein tries to do,
the important measure is not how much money a tax cut puts in people's
pocket but how it expands their opportunities. Bush's plan cuts the
effective marginal tax rate for low-income workers from 36 to 21 percent.
That's what Bush means when he talks about how taxes act as a tollgate for
people trying to enter the middle class.
Besides, as far as we're concerned, letting people keep more of their own
money is a pretty good definition of "tax justice."
HMMM. . . .
Samuel Francis, in the January 2000 issue of Chronicles
"conservatives" (his sneer quotes) who believe that "liberty is a natural
right, with universal claims in time and space." He continues, "The precise
content of this absolute, universal liberty always varies, of course,
depending upon which college sophomore or Asian immigrant is spouting off
about it in The Weekly Standard
or National Review
this week. . ." Who
could he be talking about?