August 20, 2010
“Targeted tax cuts are government programs”
By: Joseph S. Fichera
Martin Feldstein wrote an important op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journalyou might have overlooked.Â We need to see that the popular positions of Democrats and Republicans for so called “targeted tax cuts” are really taxpayer subsidies and government programs. This is not a moral issue but one of efficiency and effectiveness. Whether we should subsidize the activity directly with oversight or indirectly by the tax code and without oversight is an important question that often gets overlooked. I don’t agree completely with Feldstein’s prescriptions but his point is critical to the discussion swirling around. As I noted in a Bloomberg News television commentary in May 08, one part of the solution to our economic crisis is comprehensive tax reform that will bring back a truly bi-partisan moment from 1986. Yet, as my friends counsel me, this is nostalgia (or worse “idealism”) on my part. Yet, we may ultimately get there because of the enormity of our problems we face and the fact that the new four letter word in Washington and in the nation’s states and cities is “math”.