Having it Every Which Way in Minneapolis


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.