Pity the lost soul of Mitch Daniels. Long a paragon of virtue and morality, he has strayed from the True Faith. In a recent speech to conservative bigwigs, Daniels suggested that a value-added tax, coupled with a flat-rate income tax, might be a reasonable basis for tax reform. For this unpardonable sin, he has been justly pilloried by the leader of the Congregation for the Enforcement of the Conservative Dogma, a.k.a. Grover Norquist:
“This is outside the bounds of acceptable modern Republican thought, and it is only the zone of extremely left-wing Democrats who publicly talk about those things because all Democrats pretending to be moderates wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot poll. Absent some explanation, such as large quantities of crystal meth, this is disqualifying. This is beyond the pale.”
To be sure, Daniels has found support from a few lonely conservatives -- none of them recognized as such by movement leaders.
. . . .
The sad fact is, there is simply no one immune to charges of heresy in the modern GOP. Right wing political correctness is vastly more rigid than the left wing version (which is plenty rigid itself). And nowhere is right-wing group-think more pervasive than around the subject of taxes. There is no one left among Republicans who can talk sensibly about revenues -- even the good guys have been cowed into silence (or forced into signing Norquist's tax pledge, a confession of the tax-cutting faith).. . . .
View TaxAnalysts' Joseph J. Thorndike's opinion in its entirety on TAX.com
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