Pinning down Congressional Democrats’ positions on taxes is kind like trying to castrate a waking bull… and about as practical. They simply won’t give it up. I remember once, New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan – who was about as straightforward as Washington Democrats get – was asked if Americans are taxed too much. Moynihan answered, “Well, they’re taxed wrongly.” Notice how the dodge, as in a champion middleweight, effortlessly flows into the counterpunch.
Unfortunately, the current crop of Democrats in Congress aren’t Pat Moynihan – as George Will has noted, Moynihan wrote more books than most of his colleagues read. They’re not as straightforward and not as bright. Ask them what they want to do about taxes, and, like on most issues, the first thing they say is that they hate what President Bush did. So, what would they do differently? Well, they want to make the tax code fairer? How? By taking away loopholes for the rich. Which ones? The ones that working class families can’t use. Which are they?
No answer. Listening to the Democrats, you get the sense that they definitely think taxes should be higher than they are, but they’re loathe to admit which ones. Meanwhile, as we noticed throughout the last tax debates in 2003, the only income taxes Democrats think should be lowered are the ones on people who don’t pay income taxes at all. So, what do they really believe?
This tax day, Americans should make a real effort to find out what the Democrats really want to do with the Internal Revenue Code. Conservatives, especially those represented by Democrats in Congress, should be flooding their members’ offices with letters and emails and phone calls asking exactly what their Senators and Representatives want to do on taxes. Do they believe taxes should be higher? Which ones? Lower? Again, what are the specific proposals?
Or more importantly, what about fundamental tax reform. Since no thinking person honestly believes the current system is an efficient means of generating revenues for the government, what would your representatives do if they could rewrite the code from scratch? A flat tax? A national sales tax like the Fair Tax?