AMT confusion

One of the big issues which has been looming over the federal government over the past several weeks is the Alternative Minimum Tax. The House of Representatives recently passed a bill reforming the AMT and making up for the reduced revenues in other places. The administration, however, has consistently warned against such a fix.

“The administration does not believe the appropriate way to protect 21 million additional taxpayers from 2007 AMT liability is to impose a tax increase on other taxpayers,” the White House said in a policy statement.

They would prefer a bill like that passed by the Senate, which does not compensate for the lost revenues.

How confusing. I thought part of conservatism was living within your means, paying as you go. Strange that conservatives today are so eager to reduce revenues, but not to reduce expenditures. Oh, sure, they’ll talk about cutting back on social programs. But this administration and most conservatives have no desire to cut back on military spending—by far the biggest drain on government coffers, as has been mentioned before. Never before has this nation—any nation—engaged in a war without requiring sacrifice from their citizens in order to help pay for the war. This administration? They would prefer for citizens to act as if the war didn’t exist. These conservatives want to buy their illegal and immoral war on credit.

Why not. Go ahead, cut taxes. Our kids can figure out a way to pay for our generation’s blunders.

6 Responses to “AMT confusion”

  1. Thom Says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to call military spending “by far” the biggest drain on government coffers, but it is one of the biggest drains on government coffers [1,2]. And the overall point is correct, for all the noise made about responsible government, military spending is often left out of the equation.


  2. Aaron Orgill Says:

    Passing the debt on to the next generation is nothing new, and it wasn’t started by Bush. But you are right, conservatives try to lay claim to financial responsibility, and they’ve gotten just as reckless as Democrats, if not more so.

  3. Derek Staffanson Says:

    Not only that point, Thom, but the point that this administration is being particularly irresponsible given the fiscal demands of a war. If they insist on continuing to pursue this illegal and immoral war, they ought to at least be responsible regarding the costs of the war.

    You’re right, Aaron. Governments have always been susceptible to the temptation to pass the costs of their decisions on to others. Both parties have done this in our nation’s past. However, this case is particularly egregious in light of the war and of the fiscal responsibility rhetoric of the conservatives. The example I cited is especially revealing. The Democrats–supposed “tax and spend” liberals–are trying to bring expenditures and income closer to equilibrium, while Bush–supposedly a responsible fiscal conservative–is insisting that the gap between expenditures and income be widened through lowered taxes and ever increasing spending on his boondoggle of a war.

  4. Non-Arab Arab Says:

    But I think there is method behind this apparent Republican hypocritical madness. The arch-conservative thinks that one of the few legitimate roles of government is defense. The modern empiro-conservative further believes that their delusionary “World War IV” turns bombing the Muslim world from the Atlantic to the Pacific into a legitimate piece of that “defense”. All the social spending is illegitimate in their view – Godless socialism. What better way to force the elimination of all that evil than supporting an apocalyptic vision of global “defense” that bloats (legitimate in their eyes no matter how much bloat and corruption it creates) military spending to the point that other the government is forced to cut back on social spending? And as long as you keep the war going, all that other spending is “forced” out because no member of Congress in their right political-animal mind wants to be accused of not supporting the troops. So they fully fund every insane military budget request there is. Democrats will try to fund the social stuff too, but without the spine necessary to cut the war off, they’re increasingly forced into a corner where cutting social spending becomes inevitable. The hard-core conservatives want to push this as far as they possibly can. More war equals salvation from creeping godless communism in America!

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