Carol Platt Liebau: Confusing news with OpEd

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Confusing news with OpEd

This is guest blogger Wile E Coyote.

This morning's New York Times runs a "news" article entitled, "House Backs Tax Relief Bill, but Fate in Senate Is Unsure".

Look under the hood, though, and the headline's "Tax Relief" involves a $78.3 billion dollar tax increase that more than doubles the capital-gains rates for private equity funds, hedge funds and other partnerships. But don't feel sad, the article tells us, the tax increase is not an "increase", it's the removal of a "tax break" (notwithstanding the fact that these enterprises receive no preferences in accordance with tax treatment that has been in place for nearly a century).

So who gets the tax relief? The nearly 21 million people who will fall next year under the Alternative Minimum Tax, put in place decades ago by Democrats to go after fewer than two dozen millionaires who had paid no tax under general tax rules.

And whose fault is it that yet another Democratic "soak the rich" scheme whacks the middle class? According to the article, George W. Bush, of course, because of the way the AMT "interacts with Mr. Bush’s tax cuts of 2001 and 2003".

The article further tells us that if this "tax relief" measure fails, the cause will be the act that "[p]rivate equity funds have spent millions lobbying in defense of the tax break for 'carried interest,' rather than the stupidity of more than doubling taxes on highly competitive capital market firms that squeeze more productivity from corporate assets and generate higher returns for pension funds, endowments, and individual shareholders and limited partners.

A left-wing editorial posing as a NYT news article? That's not news either.


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