The Conservative Case Against Tax Cuts
Since some Democrats like Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Sen. Kent Conrad of North Dakota are starting to complain that President-elect Barack Obama’s proposed stimulus package is too heavy on tax cuts — Harkin has called them “trickle-down” — I asked Brian Darling, the director of Senate relations at the Heritage Foundation, if conservatives could be won over by Obama’s plan.
“The ironic thing about that,” Darling said, “is that public proposals out there are thin on tax cuts and heavy on welfare. The earned income tax credit is welfare — it goes to people who aren’t paying taxes. Giving people stimulus checks is not an effective way to stimulate the economy. It’s far more effective to cut taxes for taxpayers. And the other things I see are short-term accounting loopholes for some businesses. Accounting gimmicks and welfare programs are not tax cuts.”
Would a stimulus like this be totally ineffective?
“Infusing $1 trillion into the economy is going to bring some short term stimulus to the industries getting the money, sure,” Darling said. “States and localities with ’shovel ready projects’ are going to benefit. But this is money taken out of the economy and spending that adds to a massive deficit.”