Republican Convention 2008

Having it Every Which Way in Minneapolis

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Taking a hike through the GOP platform, there is a lot to like, e.g personal retirement accounts, school choice, a moratorium on earmarks. And a lot to dislike, e.g. protecting traditional marriage, continuation of the drug war, mandating employers use a federal database to check immigration status of job applicants.

But, at least those are clear positions. The GOP's take on taxes, however, is a muddled mess. It starts off with this:

Today's Democratic Party views the tax code as a tool for social engineering. They use it to control our behavior, steer our choices, and change the way we live our lives. The Republican Party will put a stop to both social engineering and corporate handouts by simplifying tax policy, eliminating special deals, and putting those saved dollars back into the taxpayers' pockets.

So far, so awesome. But the rest of the platform weaves a different narrative. The GOP doesn't want the tax code to be too simple, supporting:

Increased exemptions for dependents (page 24)

Health Care Tax Credit (page 38)

Mortgage Interest Tax Credit (page 28)

Alternative Energy Tax Credit (page 32)

Child Care Tax Credits (page 44)

Education Tuition Tax Credits (page 44)

Education Savings Accounts (page 46)

Tax Deferred Savings Plans (page 24)

"Lost Earnings Buffer" Accounts (page 27

Health Savings Accounts (page 25)

Flexible Training Accounts (page 27)

It seems "social engineering" is in the eye of the beholder.

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  1. Has there been any debate so badly and irretrievably lost worst than the flat tax debate? Any one remember Steve Forbes? The media and the politicians on both sides are so wedded to the idea that the government exists to give handouts to favored groups, I honestly don’t think you could argue for a flat tax without being dismissed as a crank. It is just sad.

  2. McCain is rumored to have supported a reduction of the top corporate tax rate from 35% to 25%. Since corporate tax brackets aren’t indexed to inflation, and haven’t been adjusted for over 30 years, it’s high time they did something about this.

  3. “a lot to dislike, e.g. protecting traditional marriage . . .”

    The clearest sign that marriage is in trouble is that the defense thereof has devolved upon scumbag Republican liars whose idea of family values is to get remarried, like, three or four times.

    Imagine being in trouble, and the only person offering to help you is the local drug-dealer. It sucks, but if the drug-dealer is offering help while the respectable citizens aren’t, then you take the help that’s at hand.

    If respectable people won’t defend marriage, then that vacuum will be filled by Republicans. A good argument for respectable people to defend marriage, depriving the Republicans of vote-bait.

    Are the Democrats listening?

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