True confessions -- a couple of months ago around the peak of Cainmentum but before the current Newt Gingrich surge, I set about to write a post making the point that in essence Rick Perry and Mitt Romney had tax policy ideas that were every bit as crazy and regressive as the 9-9-9 Plan. I wound up never writing the post because . . . it's not true. Ezra Klein waited for the Gingrich Surge and then wound up executing the same basic idea. As he shows in the chart above, Serious Thinker Newt Gingrich is putting something extremely similar to the Roundly Dismissed As Absurd Herman Cain 9-9-9 Plan on the table. You may notice, however, that there's no Romney on the Klein chart. And that's because Romney has quietly managed to skate through this whole campaign while hewing to a much more moderate line on taxes than his rivals.
Now moderation is a relative concept. Romney wants to extend all the current Bush tax cuts, which on its own terms implies major long-term cutbacks to federal retirement programs, and would add to that a pretty expensive proposal to eliminate capital gains taxes for everyone earning less than $200,000. But there's tons of daylight between Romney and Perry/Gingrich on this front. Under the circumstances it's strange that the candidates have spent much more time engaged in hair-splitting disagreements about immigration than they have on taxes.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?