Dems’ absurd tax games and other commentary

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Libertarian: Dems’ Absurd Tax Games

Democrats’ “slapdash approach” to paying for the “Build Back” bill amounts to throwing ideas “at a wall like spaghetti and seeing what sticks,” grumbles Andrew Wilford at Reason. The push for an insanely complex “billionaires tax” didn’t last 24 hours and never would’ve surfaced “in any functional policy-making environment where legislation is being created by level-headed adults.” Then there’s the “unprecedented expansion of the IRS’s power to monitor taxpayers’ finances,” which at first required reporting of any transaction above $600. Even the $10,000 threshold would’ve “caught millions of average-income Americans in its dragnet.” The new plan for a minimum corporate tax makes no more sense, as “the deductions corporations use to lower their tax bills enjoy bipartisan support in Congress and corporate tax revenues this year” look to be coming in at the level expected before the 2017 tax cuts.

Pandemic journal: US Spies Back Beijing

The “18-page declassified US intelligence community report on the origins of COVID-19” seems “to bend over backward to give Beijing the benefit of the doubt,” gripes National Review’s Jim Geraghty. It sees “nothing suspicious in Beijing’s refusal to turn over data or fully cooperate with international investigations” or the fact it “lied to the world for the first three to six weeks of this pandemic.” And the “brightest minds of US intelligence have decreed” it “coincidental” that three Wuhan Institute of Virology researchers were hospitalized in November 2019. They even ignore that “a major state-run laboratory doing gain-of-function research on novel coronaviruses found in bats doesn’t use adequate biosafety precautions.” It’s “like saying poor safety precautions at the Chernobyl nuclear plant could just be coincidental with all that radiation around Ukraine.”

Iconoclast: A Green Excuse for Social Engineering

The climate summit “is gearing up to be a grotesque spectacle,” snarks Spiked’s Brendan O’Neill, as “the rich, the powerful” gather to lecture on “how much we are harming the planet with all our waste and hubris.” Yes, they “arrive in their private jets to bemoan the scourge of air-industry emissions” and “tuck in to five-star meals in between wondering out loud if the little people should eat less meat.” Skip past “the hypocrisy” to the “fact that environmentalism is now the core ideology of the new ruling class.” Why? “It lends itself beautifully, or, rather, terrifyingly, to the project of social engineering: lower your horizons, learn to live with less, reconceive of yourself as a destructive creature in need of top-down control rather than a creative being who might help to push humanity forward.”

Poll watch: Voters Worry About Joe’s Mind

“Concerns about President Joe Biden’s mental abilities have gone mainstream,” warns Issues & Insights’ Terry Jones. “Even the notoriously partisan ‘Saturday Night Live’ has started to use Biden’s mental acuity as a punchline,” joking about his use of “the F-word in conversation. More concerning, the F-word he keeps using is ‘forget.’ ” In the latest I&I/TIPP poll, “just 42 percent . . . say they think the president is ‘mentally sharp’ and 42 percent say he’s ‘energetic.’ (Half those polled say he isn’t mentally sharp or energetic.)” Worse: “Among independents, . . . only 34 percent say Biden is mentally sharp, while 58 percent say he isn’t. Among women, 40 percent say he is mentally sharp and 51 percent say he isn’t.” Ouch.

Conservative: Photo-ID Double Standards

Los Angeles’ new proof-of-vax rules to enter indoor areas have tougher ID demands than the Georgia voting law that President Biden called “un-American,” notes Jeffrey A. Anderson at The Federalist. Georgia lets you request an absentee ballot with just one of several documents “ ‘that show your name and address’ (though not your picture).” But “LA doesn’t say anything about accepting a utility bill, bank statement, paycheck, or government check. In other words, ID requirements appear to be less stringent to vote absentee in Georgia than to enter an indoor establishment in Los Angeles.”

— Compiled by The Post Editorial Board

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