The piece was prompted by a recent article from Norm Ornstein and Tom Mann claiming that needed bipartisan reforms are being blocked by the new “ideologically extreme” Republican Party.
Baloney. It’s the Democrats who have changed. The party’s leaders have moved far to the left on economic issues.
As evidence, I point to this Cato Journal article from 1985 by Democrat Richard Gephardt, who was a leader on tax reform. As a free-market guy, I agree with the great majority of what Gephardt said, yet I agree with virtually nothing that modern Democratic leaders say about tax policy.
Regarding ridding the tax code of special breaks, Gephardt says, “I confess that I am not qualified to act as a central planner and I do not know anybody on either committee who is.” Amen!
And Gephardt says, “We in Congress take pride in the free market system.” When was the last time you heard a Democratic leader say something like that?
Chris Edwards is the director of tax policy studies at the Cato Institute, and editor of www.DownsizingGovernment.org. Before joining Cato, Edwards was a senior economist on the congressional Joint Economic Committee, a manager with PricewaterhouseCoopers, and an economist with the Tax Foundation.
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