Thursday, October 18, 2007

White House champions progressive taxation

While the Bush veto on expanded children's healthcare continues to stand unscathed, it is interesting to learn of the underlying motivations behind the White House position. I'm not referring here to the philosophical uneasiness among modern-day conservatives in using public money for public purposes -- what our president in this case calls "socialized medicine" -- though this reason is well known. It appears there may be some "compassionate conservatism" at play as well: The White House has opposed the means of funding the proposal, which would involve higher taxes on tobacco. Their reasoning? The taxation would be regressive, because poor people smoke in greater numbers than the affluent; as such, it would be an unfair burden for them to bear. Doubtless this is good news for poor smokers everywhere -- just so long as they don't smoke those cigs beneath any of our nation's bridges.

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