Today in Conservative Media is a daily roundup of the biggest stories in the right-wing press.
Conservatives unpacked the state of the GOP’s tax reform effort on Tuesday. RedState’s Jim Jamitis warned against framing the Republican tax cuts as “reform”:
Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for cutting taxes. I’m just uncomfortable with promises of specific results from doing so. Lower taxes definitely benefit a free market economy by putting more capital into the system but we don’t really have a free market economy. The government has its hooks in everything. Like many others, I’ve been saying for some time now that the tax legislation currently being debated barely qualifies for the loosest definition of the word reform.
[…] There are Constitutional and moral arguments for why our system of federal taxation is flawed. None of them involve the sort of wonkery and process obsession with which we’ve been inundated. Certainly, we may end up with a tax code objectively better to some small degree than what we had before. The problem is that the process and debate through which we achieved it is a tacit endorsement of the ideas that the government’s role is to pick winners and losers and that some people have more of a right to keep their own money than others do.
At National Review, Chris Edwards argued that the GOP’s tax plans will favor the middle class over the wealthy. “The Joint Committee on Taxation and Tax Policy Center tables show similar patterns of tax cuts across income groups until 2025, excluding the Obamacare reduction in subsidies,” he wrote. “After that, the Senate bill would end most individual cuts, and policymakers would decide whether to extend them. But in the near term, the GOP tax cuts heavily favor middle earners over higher earners, at least relative to how much they currently pay in income taxes.”
At the Federalist, Helen Raleigh made a moral case for cutting taxes:
As Calvin Coolidge said, “collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” Tax cuts are a way to reduce such legal plunder by returning a portion of what government has taken from taxpayers back to its rightful owners. So the more you’ve paid in taxes, the bigger cut you should get. If you are one of the Americans earning in the top 1 percent of income, who pay nearly 50 percent of this country’s taxes, you should get the biggest cut.
In that regard, the current Senate bill failed by reducing those Americans’ rate only to 38.5 percent from 39.6 percent. If you are one of those 45.3 percent of Americans who don’t pay any income tax, ask yourself, on what moral ground should you get a tax cut? Your financial needs, no matter how great they are, cannot and should not be the reason for the government to legally rob your neighbors.
“I wish at least one Republican politician would have the conviction to declare that his or her party stands for corporations,” Raleigh later continued, “because corporations are ultimately about the well-being of people: owners, employees, customers, suppliers, and communities in large.”
In other news:
Multiple outlets ran posts about the revelation that an FBI agent had been asked to step down from Robert Muller’s Trump investigation. From National Review’s David French:
This agent, Peter Strzok, also worked with FBI director James Comey on the Clinton email investigation. In fact, he was so deeply involved in the Clinton investigation that he is said to have interviewed Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin, and to have been present when the FBI interviewed Clinton. According to CNN, he was part of the team responsible for altering the FBI’s conclusion that Clinton was “grossly negligent” in handling classified emails (a finding that could have triggered criminal liability) to “extremely careless” — a determination that allowed her to escape prosecution entirely.
After the Clinton investigation concluded, Strzok signed the documents opening the investigation into Russian election interference and actually helped interview former national-security adviser Michael Flynn. In other words, it looks like a low-integrity, reckless, biased bureaucrat has played an important role in two of the most important and politically charged criminal investigations of the new century.
“In light of his anti-Trump, pro-Hillary bias,” the Federalist’s Bre Payton wrote, “Strzok’s involvement in the only piece of damning evidence against Flynn thus far could throw the entire Russia probe in doubt — especially considering his involvement in the FBI’s decision to ultimately give Hillary Clinton a free pass for her misdeeds.”
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