Daniel J. Mitchell

I’ve remarked before that Democrats are the evil party and Republicans are the stupid party. Well, if anyone needs additional proof about GOPers being clueless and tone deaf, exhibit A is Congressman Rick Crawford of Arkansas, who has decided to preemptively capitulate in favor of higher tax rates.

Here are the relevant details from a Politico story.

Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Crawford will propose a surtax on millionaires Thursday morning, a crack in the steadfast GOP opposition to extracting more money from the nation’s top earners. The Arkansas Republican will unveil the plan during a local television interview Thursday morning, and plans to introduce legislation when the House returns next week, according to sources familiar with his thinking. Crawford will propose the additional tax— expected to be north of 2.5 percent — on individual income over $1 million as part of a broader fiscal responsibility package.

I have no idea if Congressman Crawford is simply naive, unaware that tax-increase deals inevitably lead to higher spending and more red ink. Or perhaps he’s trying to become the kind of Republican who thinks he can advance his career by saying things that will earn him pats on the head from the establishment media.

But I do know that America’s fiscal problem is a government that is far too big. You don’t solve the problem with more taxes, just as you don’t cure alcoholics by giving them more to drink.

Congressman Crawford, though, wants to give away the keys to a liquor store without even asking for an insincere commitment for future sobriety in exchange. Indeed, the Congressman’s naiveté is so impressive that he is the first winner of the Charlie Brown Award for Vapidness and Gullibility.


Daniel J. Mitchell

Daniel J. Mitchell is a top expert on tax reform and supply-side tax policy at the Cato Institute.