The Tax Trimmers
LIKE LAST year’s Trade Expansion Act, President Kennedy’s only consequential legislative proposal for 1962, the new tax bill, is a long, intricately detailed affair which-as is usually the case with tax measures-promises to be a lawyer’s delight and a layman’s labyrinth. The President has followed the precedent of the TEA in another respect, too. Just as last summer he mobilized well in advance of the Congressional season an extraordinary range of sentiment in support of a more liberal trade policy, so this year he has won the backing of a similarly broad coalition for the notion that tax reductions will serve the cause of economic growth, high employment, and unmarred prosperity. Here, however, the parallel ends, for while last year’s allies remained united through the passage of TEA, this year’s coalition-which comprises the Chamber of Commerce, the Committee for Economic Development, the AFL-CIO, and a large body of independent economic and editorial opinion (including that of Walter Lippmann)-is now quarreling not only about the distribution of the tax benefits, but also about the advisability of tying tax reforms to tax reductions.
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