It’s no secret that Grover Norquist’s patience with Tom Coburn ran out long ago. This hasn’t stopped Coburn from throwing out his own deficit reduction plan – entitled “Back in Black” – in order to save us all from fighting over scraps in the street. Predictably, Americans for Tax Reform has responded in due course, only they’re calling it “A Trillion Dollar Tax Hike Plan.” Maybe that’s not as bad as it sounds? Let’s take a look at some highlights:
Okay, is this really a trillion dollar tax hike? Reports say that it will save $9 trillion.
There is no rate reduction whatsoever in this plan. It’s a set of tax hikes, plain and simple.
But clearly, taxes and tax reform are complicated. Any chance we can address that?
There is no tax reform in this plan. The plan would undermine prospects for long-term tax reform.
A 600-page proposal clearly doesn’t happen without some planning. Tom Coburn must have had a plan. What was it?
It’s now clear Senator Coburn’s plan all along was a trillion dollar tax hike. Senator Coburn pretended to care about ethanol (until he was forced to admit he supported the ethanol mandate, the cause of 98% of government-induced ethanol production). In reality, he wanted to lay the groundwork for GOP support of this trillion dollar tax hike plan.
Tom Coburn has a reputation for being a staunch conservative. Does he live up to that reputation?
The Coburn trillion dollar tax hike is far outside the mainstream of the conservative movement, as well as where Congressional Republicans are.
Is there anything good about Coburn’s proposal?
ATR has long called for a “tax me more” checkoff for limousine liberals who complain that their taxes aren’t high enough. Rather than hiking taxes on everyone, these rich liberals should be able to pay more voluntarily to assuage their left-wing guilt. The Coburn plan does have this, providing a silver lining to an otherwise cloudy forecast for taxpayers.
And you probably thought ATR couldn’t say anything nice about the plan.
A win is a win and the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed one to John Larson, one of three defendants sentenced last year for selling illegal tax shelters. The Court “found Larson’s [$6 million] fine too high, citing a lack of jury findings to support a fine above $3 million. It returned that part of the case to the lower court to recalculate any fine.”
That’s more or less where the good news ends. The court did uphold the convictions of Larson and his two co-defendants – ex-KPMG Partner Robert Pfaff and ex-Brown & Wood partner Raymond Ruble. Larson was sentenced to a 10 year prison term last year. Pfaff received 8 years and Ruble 6-1/2 years.