If there's one thing that the New York Times editorial page has inveighed against for the last six years, it's those horrid tax cuts that the Bush administraton pushed through. But now that the economy might be encountering some turbulence, the Times regrets, of all things, that taxes can't be cut more.
Here's how the Times frames its plaint in this morning's "As the Economy Turns Down" [emphasis added]:
As for reversing a downturn, even multiple [interest] rate cuts are unlikely to be adequate unless supported by tax and social policies — the other tools generally available to fight a possible recession. Today, however, the government is unable or unwilling to offer such support.
After six years of excessive and misdirected tax cuts, there is virtually no leeway to cut taxes further to stimulate consumption. And the social safety net is frayed. President Bush is even now threatening to veto expanded health insurance for lower-income children.
To be sure, the Times gives itself some ideological cover by claimng that the Bush tax cuts were "misdirected," Times shorthand meaning they went to those evil rich. You know, like the tens of millions of lower-income Americans who under the Bush tax cuts pay no federal income taxes at all.
But peel back the fig leaf, and here is the flying-pig phenomenon of the Times acknowledging that tax cuts have a stimulative effect and wishing for more. Perhaps President Bush and Congress can oblige.