Thursday, April 14

Washington Post's Irresponsible Article on Tax Panel

Where do the big newspapers GET these people? And why?

Look at this piece in the Washington Post by Allen Sloan titled "From Tax 'Reform' Panel, expect a foregone conclusion."

Let's look at some of the holes in this piece: He's complaining that the President's tax reform panel won't be effective because of, he writes, "Bush's Commission to Strengthen Social Security."

"Rather than asking that commission to pick the best possible Social Security system, he continues, "Bush required it to advocate for private accounts and to avoid increasing Social Security taxes. . . The report languished for years -- it came out in December 2001, after the Sept. 11 attacks had rocked the country. . . . " Say What?

President Bush was inaugurated for his FIRST term on January 20, 2001. He had been in office 8 months when the Towers went down and only 11 months when the commission issued its report. That is hardly "languishing for years." So we see how careful this commentator is in his reporting.

So let's see how accurate the rest of his piece is. Speaking of the President's directions to the tax panel he writes, "Instead of letting the commission propose the best possible tax system, Bush has hemmed it in. It has been ordered to make investments more attractive -- as if investment income weren't already favored enough. It's supposed to keep homeownership and charitable tax deductions tax-favored. Its proposals are supposed to be revenue-neutral, meaning that any tax cuts must be offset by new revenues."

Actually the President"s instructions to the panel were these:
* “simplify Federal tax laws to reduce the costs and administrative burdens of compliance with such laws;
* share the burdens and benefits of the Federal tax structure in an appropriately progressive manner while recognizing the importance of homeownership and charity in American society; and
* promote long-run economic growth and job creation, and better encourage work effort, saving, and investment, so as to strengthen the competitiveness of the United States in the global marketplace."

"Revenue neutral," by the way, means that the new tax system must fund the government at the same level it's funded now so that programs like social security, medicare, veteran's benefits, etc. will still be operational. I suppose Sloan would rather just cut taxes and then yell because there's no money for established programs.

So not only does Sloan have his facts wrong, it's evident that he hasn't even checked them out.

Contrary to what Sloan would have you believe, there’s great hope that the President's tax panel will, indeed, come up with a program like the FairTax (and maybe even the FairTax itself) that would tax everyone fairly, provide ample funds for the Federal government, encourage upward mobility, savings and investiment, broaden our tax base and bring foreign investments from overseas. The FairTax would do all that in addition to letting everyone keep their entire paycheck and reduce prices significantly.

I suspect Sloan and the Washington Post are playing politics. They don't care about what is best for the country or for the citizens, they just want to oppose anything the President does. That's a sad way to run a newspaper.

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