WaPo One Note

By December 24, 2006General

Comes the WaPo in an editorial today, apparently emboldened by the Democrats’ takeover of the Congress, shopping some old tired solutions to the nation’s problems. Today’s topic is “inequality,” as in “income inequality” and guess what they propose? Stop us if you’ve heard this one, but it’s more taxes and more spending. Yeah– worked like a charm last time, right?

They start by repeating — and re-heating — the fiction that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has bought into the inequality myth. But in fact, what Paulson said was that folks feel like they’re falling farther behind because of the bite that health care and energy prices are taking out of their pay. He was right about that.

Then the WaPo goes on to resurrect editorial language that appears to be from the 1960’s archives, touting tax increases and more spending on education. Only one problem: the tax cuts have resulted in all-time high tax receipts. Big shocker there. Guess what folks do when taxes are lower? They plow it into spending and investment, at least that what manufacturers do. And it powers the economy, grows it. More spending = more growth = more taxes.

On education, the plain fact is we’ve spent increasingly more and watched performance drop. Doesn’t seem to be any one-to-one correlation between education spending and the improvement in the public school system. But it’s a nice thought. In the absence of real reform, you can always throw more money at the problem.

As the Dems convene, they have said repeatedly that they will make every attempt to steer the middle. Incoming Ways and Means Chair Rangel has backed off earlier statements that seemed to say the tax cuts were gone. Incoming Financial Services Committee Chair Frank has said it might be time to take a look at Sarbanes-Oxley. Incoming Energy and Commerce Chair Dingell has expressed real caution on some of the more extreme “climate change” solutions from the left.

Let’s hope this mood holds and that the old and failed solutions shopped by the WaPo — tax hikes and more spending — don’t end up carrying the day.