Thursday, February 07, 2002

Gephardt and Tax Simplification- Mr. Haney points out a Jack Kemp editorial on Richard Gephardt. Kemp was surpisingly complementary. Here's a key paragraph:

In his speech, Gephardt may have turned a new leaf on taxes for the Democrats. It waits to be seen whether the House minority leader follows through on his stated desire to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the administration on the economy for the good of the country rather than standing toe-to-toe with the president over tax cuts in pursuit of partisan gain. If he does, then Gephardt will have taken the first important step in making tax rate reductions, tax reform and tax simplification issues with broad bipartisan support once again.

Gephardt has been this way since James was on his Big Wheel. In the early 80's he and Bill Bradley had championed tax simplification, wanting to have fewer deductions and loopholes and lower rates. Those two were key in getting the 1986 tax cuts passed, lowering top rates from 50 to 28%. Yes, he's a protectionist (I can't testify to his level of shame) and liberal on a number of other issues (many people looking for higher office will lean to the standard party position), but he understands taxes better than most Democrats. [Update-2/9-this Reason article shows he knows how do demigogue and flip-flop on taxes as well]

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