Tax Foundation on “Dirty Dozen” Tax Bills: Seven Are Bad and Two Are Good

Update, 2/2: It seems that HB 1198 in particular was too good — so good, Colorado’s legislative Democrats had to kill it. As Government Underground skillfully reports, the Democrats accidentally had a bill drafted that would repeal not only the AMT credit but the AMT itself, and thus are “not even competent enough to raise our taxes as they would like.” If it weren’t our tax dollars at stake, it would be downright hilarious.

I have tried to make the point before — if inartfully — that some of the “dirty dozen” tax hikes are worse policy than others. The fact they are being rammed through so quickly with so little deference to the concerns of large numbers of citizens showing up in protest has earned them all the “dirty” appellation.

But now, at last, we have a thoughtful analysis from the Tax Foundation’s Mark Robyn that carefully distinguishes nine of the bills: Bottom line? Seven are bad, two are good.

I commend this piece to everyone involved in the debate. The majority Democrats are fixated on raising revenue to prevent cuts to government programs and personnel — even though in some cases, the bills they are pushing are bolstered by overly optimistic fiscal notes that don’t take into account changing business and consumer behaviors. They refuse to see the unintended consequences of private-sector job losses and cutbacks.

On the other hand, Republicans ought to consider conceding ground on the two bills deemed good policy by the Tax Foundation. If any of my fellow fiscal conservatives and limited government supporters can refute Mr. Robyn’s analysis of why HB 1196 and HB 1198 make good legislation, I’m open to listen. (Let me say I’d like those two bills more if they were offset by a modest across-the-board tax cut to make them revenue-neutral, but so be it.)

I think GOP leaders making the distinction would be a sound move politically. Most of the bills are very much worth opposing, and stridently so. But recognizing the differences strengthens the cause.

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