Jens 'n' Frens
Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

"A strong conviction that something must be done is the parent of many bad measures."
  -- Daniel Webster

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 :::

Bernie Sanders has released his tax returns, which show him taking deductions that he wants to eliminate and Jim Geraghty is calling him a hypocrite. For the reasons I laid out four months ago, I disagree. As I noted on Facebook:

I don't see hypocrisy here, or when libertarian politicians accept money from programs they would scale back, or when the Koch brothers decry corporate subsidies yet fail to calculate how much they benefit and send it back to the feds. It would be more troubling if he were calling for higher taxes on income above an amount that just happens to approximate his own income, or the elimination of all tax deductions except those that benefit him. He says that rich people should pay more; his tax returns indicate that he doesn't mean to exempt himself. Good for him.

Note that if Sanders has criticized his fellow rich people for taking the deductions - if he has said that, until the law is changed to eliminate the deductions, taking them is morally wrong - the hypocrisy charge sticks. The assertion you are making when you charge someone with hypocrisy is that their actions suggest that their purported beliefs are insincere, or at least that they don't believe they should be held to those same standards, and there is no reason to believe that someone who supports higher taxes to pay for more government programs but doesn't pay higher taxes than required is either insincere or looking for a loophole for himself.

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::: posted by Steven at 11:41 PM

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Idle thoughts of a relatively libertarian Republican in Cambridge, MA, and whomever he invites. Mostly political.

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