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Monday, May 05, 2003
William Safire gets it wrong--"accidentally," I'm sure:
The segment that required candidates to question one another allowed Representative Dick Gephardt to shine. His plan to raise taxes to subsidize corporations' providing health care to workers separates him from the pack. As a hawk on the war, Gephardt needed an issue to appeal to the Democratic antiwar left, and was clearly delighted when his opponents had to wriggle away from his unabashed tax-and-spend proposal.
Saying Gephardt's proposal raises taxes to subsidize corporations is like saying Bush's proposal raises taxes to subsidize dividends. Gephardt's proposal would actually result in a tax break for corporations, and that this would be paid for by a tax raise for some other people doesn't seem any different than the Bush "tax cut" which will presumably have to be paid for with higher taxes at some point. Besides which, the Gephardt proposal only "raises taxes" in the sense that it eliminates a tax cut that hasn't even been passed yet. This constitutes a tax hike like repairing a house damaged in a tornado constitutes adding on a few rooms.