Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Was 1993 just a bad dream??

Responding to a recent post, one of our more pointed commentators excoriated me for claiming that I feared for my wallet under an all Democratic Party Federal Government saying in part:

"The last time a Democratic president and congress combined to significantly raise taxes, they were doing it to pay for the Vietnam War."

Now, I am probably always deserving of a good scolding but I have to ask: What about 1993? It didn't happen? Or it wasn't "significant"? WJ Clinton's first term, all Dem Congress, big tax increase. Ring any bells for anybody?

Republicans called it "the biggest tax increase in history". Here the website debunks that myth saying: "the Clinton tax increase was indeed large, but not the largest."

Heck, according to them it was only the second largest.

The last chopper left Saigon in 1975 right??


Chris Lawrence said...

Well, Angus, it did help pay interest on some of the national debt left over from the Vietnam War. :)

I kid slightly. But it's funny because it's true.

Dirty Davey said...

(1) Having lived through the Clinton tax increases, I don't think they WERE that significant. I don't know or anyone who really had any financial difficulty arising from the fact that their 1994 taxes were "significantly" higher than their 1993 taxes.

(2) The site says the tax increase was the second largest SINCE 1968, not the second largest EVER--note the 1942 71% WWII increase mentioned. (And we had to have gotten to those famous 90% top marginal rates of the 1950s by raising taxes SOMEWHERE, no?)

So that piece is entirely consistent with my argument that the 1993 tax increase was not "significant", and that for evidence of a Democrat significantly raising taxes you have to go back to the Johnson administration.

(3) An interesting conflict appears here. A common article of faith is that tax increases are bad for the economy, and--one assumes--that bigger increases are worse than smaller ones. If the Clinton tax increases were really BIG ones, doesn't that disprove the claim that tax increases crush the economy? But if we recognize that the 1993 increase was relatively modest, then it's reasonable to say it was simply too small to have the negative economic effects one expects from a big tax hike.

Angus said...

None is so blind as he who will not see.

Dirty Davey said...

Your summary of is still fundamentally dishonest.

An honest version would read:

"Republicans called it 'the biggest tax increase in history'. [...]
Heck, according to [] it was only the second largest SINCE 1968."