Mourning In America

A New York Democrat on politics, journalism, and the Mets

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Thursday, September 15, 2005
C'mon ... Push Back! In advance of the President's speech tonight, NBC News reports one "bold action" that won't be on the agenda.
Finally, there are no plans to change the administration's stand on tax cuts. One official told me raising taxes to pay for Katrina recovery "would particularly hit people hurt by the hurricane."

I have my own standing disagreements with GOP rhetoric on tax cuts, but they're at least avenues of debate. This is a bald-faced lie, and it's a mistake for Kelly O'Donnell to repeat it as though it isn't.

You might be able to make that case if Bush's much-ballyhooed tax reform effort had already shifted the U.S. tax system to a consumption tax. But it hasn't -- the chief Federal tax is an income tax. What do the "people hurt by the hurricane" not have (among other things)? Jobs!

A Federal tax hike within the current system would precisely finance the recovery efforts by shifting from those who still have jobs (and homes and lives) to those who do not.