TAXES: Patchwork Bill

After 4½ months of hearings, the House Ways & Means Committee this week finally patched together a tax bill designed to raise $7.2 billion in new revenues, v. $10.2 billion which the Treasury wanted. The bill fell far short of putting arms spending on a pay-as-you-go basis, made more political sense than it did tax sense.

The bill made scant effort to dry up excess spending power—the biggest source of inflationary pressure—with heavier excise taxes on consumer goods. It provided only a $1.3 billion boost in excise taxes, v, the $3 billion the...

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