Tax Nonsense, Conservative Style

Tax Nonsense, Conservative Style

Howard Jarvis stumps the country preaching salvation through lower taxes. One of the country’s best congressmen, Don Fraser, loses to a millionaire convert to the same gospel, and Vice President Mondale travels to his home state to urge his fellow Democrats to back the winner in memory of Hubert and in deference to him. In a state of panic, politicians of both parties hustle the voters with less and less credible assurances that they and only they can be depended upon to shrink the tax bills of the public. It’s all so simple. Lower taxes mean more economic growth and a return to the Golden Age of annual, automatic improvement in practically every family’s standard of life.

Our saviors, once their hearts are uplifted and their purses fattened, are of course the business community and their affluent allies. They take the risks, make the investments, gamble on new processes and products, and in enriching them- selves, confer modest prosperity upon the rest of us. We show no more than proper gratitude when we encourage Congress and the President to lighten imposts on capital gains, soften the bite of the minimum income tax, reduce still further the progressivity of personal income-tax schedules, and shave a few percentage points off corporate profits levies. Public-spirited as the men at the head of our great corporations notoriously are, they do get discouraged by the exactions of the Internal Revenue Service.

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