The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

John Cornyn Endorses Obama on Taxes

Posted on | July 3, 2011 | 24 Comments

No sooner had I urged Republicans to call out President Obama for his “tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires” rhetoric than Texas Sen. John Cornyn goes squish:

Texas Sen. John Cornyn this morning laid out a political blueprint for comprehensive tax reform, declaring that he favors raising taxes on some American businesses by closing corporate “tax expenditures” as part of a “revenue neutral” deal that lowered overall tax rates. . . .
The San Antonio Republican said there is bipartisan support for “revenue neutral” tax reform that eliminated “tax expenditures” while lowering the rates paid by the vast majority of businesses.
“Our tax code is riddled with a lot of tax expenditures that don’t make sense,” said Cornyn, citing federal subsidies to the ethanol industry as one example of an unjustified corporate tax break.
He rejected the contention from some Republican conservatives that closing tax loopholes amounts to a politically unacceptable tax increase.
“That’s revenue neutral,” Cornyn said on Fox. “That’s not raising taxes.”

Well, senator, when you begin by ceding Obama’s rhetorical premise, how to you expect to win the argument? Don’t you understand that Obama is not negotiating in good faith, and that a pro-growth tax deal of the sort you describe is not possible under the current administration? Does it not then follow that no such “revenue neutral” reform is possible until Obama is defeated?

We remember that it was Cornyn and the National Republican Senatorial Committee who endorsed RINO Charlie Crist against Marco Rubio in the Florida primary.

UPDATE: Permit me to acknowledge that so-called “tax expenditures,” commonly called “loopholes,” are a bad idea in general. In his 1991 book, Parliament of Whores, P.J. O’Rourke produced his own balanced budget plan that included a complete zeroing-out of loopholes. But O’Rourke’s budget was a draconian slash-and-burn — Grover Norquist’s wildest libertarian wet dream — that saved billions through cruel simplicity, e.g.: “I got rid of all transportation spending. Let ’em walk.”

Are Obama and the Democrats ever going to agree to O’Rourkean spending cuts? Oh, hell, no. And the fact is that we wouldn’t have reached the debt-ceiling limit until 2013 if Obama, Pelosi and Reid hadn’t gone on a massive two-year deficit-spending spree. Having thus forced this crisis upon us prematurely, then, why do Democrats now get to insist that “millionaires and billionaires” pay the freight for their failed Keynesian policies?

Screw that. Let ’em walk.


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