Spending reductions in the tax code

I’m not the first or only one to note it, but it’s worth mentioning around here that President Obama attempted to redefine a tax increase in his speech yesterday as a “spending reduction in the tax code“.

The president also called for undoing the Bush tax cuts for upper-income taxpayers, and for canceling other tax cuts many of them receive such as the mortgage interest deduction — items that instead of labeling “tax increases” he called “spending reductions in the tax code.”

Actually, it’s not too surprising given that PLDs* have been portraying tax cuts as “spending” for a while now. May as well be consistent.
*Progressives, Liberals, Democrats – take your pick, I don’t know what the preferred appellation is anymore.

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Russ
Russ
11 years ago

*Progressives, Liberals, Democrats – take your pick, I don’t know what the preferred appellation is anymore.

Well, “Democrat” is easy enought to define, but it’s important to remember that many liberals and progressives do not consider themselves Democrats.
As for liberal vs. progressive, Sirota does a pretty good job explaining the difference.

I often get asked what the difference between a “liberal” and a “progressive” is. The questions from the media on this subject are always something like, “Isn’t ‘progressive’ just another name for ‘liberal’ that people want to use because ‘liberal’ has become a bad word?”
The answer, in my opinion, is no – there is a fundamental difference when it comes to core economic issues. It seems to me that traditional “liberals” in our current parlance are those who focus on using taxpayer money to help better society. A “progressive” are those who focus on using government power to make large institutions play by a set of rules…
Let’s be clear – most progressives are also liberals, and liberal goals in better funding America’s social safety net are noble and critical. It’s the other direction that’s the problem. Many of today’s liberals are not fully comfortable with progressivism as defined in these terms. Many of today’s Democratic politicians, for instance, are simply not comfortable taking a more confrontational posture towards large economic institutions (many of whom fund their campaigns) – institutions that regularly take a confrontational posture towards America’s middle-class.

Marc
11 years ago

Thanks Russ. I know not all Democrats are liberal or Progressive (I do live in Rhode Island!). But have never been sure if/what the Liberal/Progressive difference was.

Russ
Russ
11 years ago

I think the confusion is natural in that politicians pick up the buzzwords that test well in focus groups and then (mis)use them. For instance, I never found Clinton to be very progressive when she was my Senator in NY. None the less…
archive.newsmax.com/archives/ic/2007/7/24/125521.shtml
I always considered her and President Clinton to be classic neoliberals, essentially what Sirota describes above as a “liberal.”
http://www.thefreedictionary.com/neoliberal

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

It is a distinction without a difference. When “Progressive” started to get a bad smell during the FD Roosevelt administration they changed their names to “liberals”, deliberately misappropriating the term that had in the 19th century been applied to “classical liberals” (an early term for today’s “conservatives”).
Either way they believe in big government having a preeminent role as the head of society with individual rights subordinated to the concept of the “collective good” as determined by whichever tyrant is in power at the time.

Dan
Dan
11 years ago

Progressivism is a subcategory of liberalism that advocates for strong centralized government controlled by an elite class of experts and “forward thinkers” who dictate what is best for the population as a whole.

BobN
BobN
11 years ago

Dan, the definitive modern study of the history of the American Left is “Liberal Fascism” by Jonah Goldberg and it will tell you the whole corrupt story. Whether one is a subset of the other is an argument over nothing.

Russ
Russ
11 years ago

“Either way they believe in big government having a preeminent role as the head of society with individual rights subordinated to the concept of the ‘collective good’ as determined by whichever tyrant is in power at the time.”
That’s a strawman view of progressives. Let’s talk about military spending or state surveillance and other police state powers and see who’s in favor of smaller government and individual rights then (granted, true libertarians will actually agree with progressives on this).

We have to remind the American people of what they once knew but seem to have forgotten: that they don’t want BIG government, or SMALL government; they don’t want MORE government, or LESS government; they want government ON THEIR SIDE.
– William Blum

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