President’s Progressive Budget “Doubles Down” on Regressive Tax Credits

by William Yeatman on February 16, 2012

Within 48 hours of giving a decidedly populist State of the Union Address, President Barack Obama shilled for the Billionaire’s Bailout. At the time, I thought this was situational irony of the worst sort. Unfortunately, it gets worse.

As was noted this afternoon by my colleague David Bier, the President’s budget, which was proposed this week, actually increases the regressive green vehicle tax credit financed by all taxpayers, but enjoyed only by the upper crust—i.e., the only kinds of people with enough spare cash to buy an eco-statement like the $100k+ Tesla roadster. People like Brad Pitt. According to political pundits, the President’s budget isn’t a serious proposal; rather, it is meant to galvanize his base. If this is true, then the EV tax credit is a regressive component of a progressive budget. Sort of like a black fly, in your chardonnay. Or a death row pardon, two minutes too late. Or, myriad spoons, when you only need a knife.

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