Alan Viard

Tax Haven

The deficit is a huge dilemma that’s too big for one party to solve, say the pundits and various deficit scolds. (Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles: “Neither party can fix this problem on its own, and both parties have a responsibility to do their part.) Nonsense, I say. There’s a really easy, and 100 percent partisan, answer: Just let all the Bush tax cuts expire. President Obama can accomplish this without negotiations, compromise of any sort, or even putting aside petty agendas for the national good.

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...is that neither side really wants the Bush middle class tax cuts. In 2001 Republicans really wanted to cut taxes for high-income earners, either out of a belief in the enormous sensitivity of high-income earners to marginal tax rates or a deep-seated moral opposition to the principle of progressive taxation.

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American Enterprise Institute economist Alan Viard, former member of George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors, laments the end of the upper-income Bush tax cuts. It happened, Viard argues, because Bush failed to properly sell the upper-income tax cuts: [T]he high-income rate reductions provide much greater incentive for investment and other economic activity, relative to revenue loss, than the middle-class tax cuts.

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