Read My Lips

June 16, 2008

While accepting the Republican nomination for president in 1988, George H. W. Bush stated the now-famous phrase: “Read my lips: no new taxes.”

Well, as unlikely as it seems, Hugo Chavez is paying more than mere lip service to the elder Bush’s stance. Last Wednesday, Chavez stated that Venezuela would eliminate its problematic 1.5% tax on bank transfers. In addition to the cut, Chavez also announced that there would be no new taxes in 2008. Maybe Grover Norquist should send him a pledge form.

If Chavez’s history is any indication, these baby steps will soon be offset by giant leaps in the wrong direction. Until then, let’s hope American politicians follow his lead in eliminating distortionary taxes; it wouldn’t be the first time Chavez set a trend.

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