Trim the Fat to Avoid a Tax Hike

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Monday, November 12, 2007

The Nov. 8 editorial "No Pay, No Patch" asked what I would cut from the federal budget in place of an irresponsible tax increase to finance an alternative minimum tax (AMT) "patch." Here are some examples to start, all of which were recently approved by Congress:

¿ $3.2 billion to revive outdated programs, such as one funding exchanges "with historic whaling and trading partners."

¿ $1 million for the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas.

¿ $300,000 for an "Exploratorium" in San Francisco.

¿ $100,000 for an educational program conducted aboard a catamaran in California's Monterey Bay.

Moreover, the editorial missed the point. Congress doesn't have a revenue problem. Revenue is at an all-time high after the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which have triggered economic growth that is "paying for" an AMT patch many times over. Rather, Congress has a spending problem, and raising taxes to "pay for" an AMT patch is simply a backdoor way to feed its addiction to pork.

If Congress can find a way to pay for pork, it surely can find a way -- without raising taxes -- to protect 23 million Americans from an onerous tax they were never meant to pay in the first place.

JOHN A. BOEHNER

House Minority Leader (R-Ohio)

Washington


© 2007 The Washington Post Company

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