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Santorum and the Tax Code

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In the post below I note that the Wall Street Journal’s reporters have dug into Mitt Romney’s tenure at Bain, which is all to the good. The GOP candidates all need vetting now.

The Journal’s editorial board, however, decided to rake Rick Santorum over the coals today, and did so in a particularly revealing fashion
:

Most disappointing is the Pennsylvanian’s proposal to triple the tax credit for children (from $1,000 today), which is a hobby horse of the Christian right. This is social policy masquerading as economics. Unlike a cut in marginal tax rates, a larger tax credit does little for growth because it doesn’t change incentives to save, work or invest. It merely rewards taxpayers who have children over those who don’t.

Mr. Santorum is essentially agreeing with liberals who think the tax code should be used to pursue social and political goals. Yet a major goal of tax reform is to make the tax code less of a political free-for-all. The best tax code is one that raises the revenue the government needs with the least amount of economic harm and misallocation of resources.(Emphasis added.)

The Journal’s hostility towards the “Christian right” will surprise some but not those who have watched the Journal move over the years towards an enemy of all buts purist friends, the product perhaps of a growing disdain among economic conservatives for the allies it must have among defense hawks and social conservatives if a governing coalition is to be achieved –the coalition that Reagan championed.

Rick Santorum champions families as the central building block of societies, and believes our tax code ought to support such families which are bearing the cost of the essential necessity for renewing and replenishing a society –the raising and education of children inside the home. The Journal’s purists want a tax code that can’t be achieved to benefit societies that don’t exist. Rick Santorum wants to get elected to help American families and thereby all Americans. The senator’s got the right idea.

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