Know Your Rights/ These Are Your Rights/ All Four Of 'Em


The Republican Study Committee led by Jeb Hensarling (whom I shower with praise in the new issue of Reason) is rolling out an "American Taxpayers' Bill of Rights"—National Review's Stephen Spruiell and blogger Fausta have some of the details. The PDF document is here.

1. Taxpayers have a right to have a federal government that does not grow beyond their ability to pay for it.

Hrm. We've heard this before, and it'd be nice for the RSC to start proposing some of those sweet alternative budgets. Maybe the whole party will support them this time.

2. Taxpayers have a right to receive back each dollar that they entrust to the government for their retirement.

Here's the difference between being in the majority and the minority. In the majority, Republicans could propose Jim DeMint's "GROW Accounts"—hypothetical individual accounts for everyone which would sop up each year's Social Security surplus, preventing that from being spent on other programs. In the minority, they… are noncommittal.

3. Taxpayers have a right to expect the government to balance the budget without having their taxes raised.

Hey, this is something the GOP has yet to screw up this decade! The National GOP, I mean. (The tax-raising part, not the balancing part.)

4. Taxpayers have a right to a simple, fair tax code that they can understand.

Ugh—here's the issue where Republicans sound as muddled as Democrats on Iraq. What sort of reform are we talking about? Flat tax? Consumption tax? The "Fair Flat Tax"?