The Danger of Dems’ Tax-Happy Ways

April 21, 2010 05:37

This isn’t the time to be raising taxes, not when the economy is still struggling; not when 16 percent of the workforce is unemployed or underemployed, and job creation is weak and likely to remain so for the next several years; not when major sectors of the economy are still in the cellar, with no visible signals that they will climbing soon.

by Donald Lambro at

WASHINGTON — Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan, the powerful Democratic chairman of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, seems determined to kill the economic recovery or at the very least, slow it down.

Levin, who took the reins of the committee when Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., was forced to step down in a hail of ethics charges, said Monday that the Bush tax cuts will be allowed to expire at the end of this year — which means the top tax rates on wealthier workers will shoot up just when the economy still remains vulnerable.

Levin’s home state has been in a depression for a number of years, and apparently the congressman must think it now needs a good dose of tax hikes to make sure that economic growth doesn’t get out of hand or that upper-income Americans don’t make more money than he and Barack Obama say they should.

While the convalescing national economy appears to be slowly getting back on its feet, it still looks more than a bit shaky in many sectors, from real estate, housing starts and construction to retail sales and bank lending. The unemployment rate is still skirting 10 percent, and nearly 20 states report their jobless rates remain in double-digit territory.

If that doesn’t worry Levin and his tax-happy Democratic colleagues on the Ways and Means panel, consider last week’s little-noticed cautionary decision by a committee of academic economists.


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