Any good conservative knows that a simplified tax code with lower rates is a driver of economic growth. Until last week, Senate Finance Committee Leaders Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) had a credible plan for crafting such a code – wipe the slate clean of special breaks and deductions, then force lawmakers to argue publicly for any special provisions they wanted back in. Then Baucus and Hatch removed the word “publicly” and told their fellow Senators – hey, tell us what you want privately, then throw that suggestion in a time capsule and bury it until the next time we see Halley’s Comet.
So now lawmakers can quietly please donors and special interest groups with no political repercussions. Every dollar that goes to one of these special tax breaks is a dollar that won’t go to lowering the rates of people like you and me, which amounts to more guillotining of our hard-earned paychecks. Thanks to the Baucus/Hatch Time Capsule, lawmakers won’t have to go on the record explaining why our money should feed special tax breaks rather than feed our families. The bipartisan nature of this sorry episode just goes to show that big government sometimes transcends party affiliation.