Health Care: Do the Right Thing on Taxes

To pay for health-care reform, both parties need to get serious about a topic neither one mentions: taxes

Timothy A. Clary / AFP / Getty

The National Debt Clock in midtown New York City.

"You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," Vice President Dick Cheney famously told George W. Bush's first Treasury Secretary, Paul O'Neill. Cheney, who rarely allows facts to get in the way of a good ideology, was retailing a myth. Ronald Reagan is remembered for the massive tax cuts passed during his first year in office. But since deficits do matter — and since Reagan's so-called supply-side cuts blasted an enormous hole in the budget — the President had to come back in 1982 with the largest peacetime tax increase in American history: the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which...

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