Senate Republicans Use Economic Ignorance when Convenient to Them

March 5, 2010

Due to their typical position of being opposed to any tax increase, Republicans are often good at pointing out how all tax increases hit people, even if they are legally remitted by business. This is just a truism in tax policy: all taxes are paid by people.

Unfortunately, this position of Republicans�appears not to be rooted in any solid understanding of basic public finance, but rather political expediency. As my former colleague Josh Barro points out, Senate Republicans are now�attacking the Senate health care bill because the tax cuts "go directly to insurance companies."

In the press release,�Senate Republicans�are claiming that the tax cuts will not go to the American taxpayers but instead will benefit only the insurance companies because that's who gets the check.

So�what does this inconsistency in�Republicans talking points on tax policy tell us? It just says that�as usual in Washington, political expediency in making arguments is priority one;�and if the argument actually makes sense logically, that is only by chance.

On Monday, these same staffers who wrote up this nonsense will probably have a press release telling us that Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade policies�(that businesses would legally pay) would harm the American consumer because they would be passed along in the form of higher prices at the pump and in all products.

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