Damn Those Presidents!

In his column this morning economist Paul Krugman complains that the “Bush tax cuts” are a “poison pill”:

A poison pill, in corporate jargon, is a financial arrangement designed to protect current management by crippling the company if someone else takes over.

As I read the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center’s analysis of the presidential candidates’ tax proposals, I realized that the tax cuts enacted by the Bush administration are, in effect, a fiscal poison pill aimed at future administrations.

Damn those presidents! They do things that have lasting effects. By that analysis Social Security, Medicare, and the Pure Food and Drug Act are all poison pills.

None of those are poison pills as the term is used because none of them “cripple the company” in the event of a takeover by another administration. What they do is make it politically difficult for a succeeding administration to abolish and that’s a horse of a completely different color. Political pain does not equal crippling the company.

3 comments… add one
  • Ah, yes, those dastardly presidents who arm-twist Congress into rubber-stamping their devious plots!

    We do have fun with our designated national scapegoat, don’t we? 😉

  • The poor little dears. The Congressmen, I mean. No sooner do they fall off the turnip truck than they’re seduced into some vile scheme by evil Republican presidents.

    I think that Sam Clemens said it well: other than the Congress America has no native criminal class.

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