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David Brooks hashes out a brilliant plan Republicans should adopt in order to reshape the tax system (“Can Elephants Learn From Failure?” The New York Times, 3/28/2017):

The Republican Health Care bill failed because it was a bad bill that had almost no authentic public support. It took benefits away from tens of millions of vulnerable people in order to give tax breaks to the rich few.

When Republicans turn to tax reform, they will start on much stronger ground…

The current code taxes income heavily and barely taxes consumption. To increase dynamism and growth, we should substitute taxes on investment with taxes on spending.

Understood correctly, Brooks is saying that the Republican health insurance plan was unpopular because it would significantly hurt “tens of millions of vulnerable people in order to give tax breaks to the rich few.” Instead, Republicans should shift the taxation system away from income and toward consumption, which would significantly hurt “tens of millions of vulnerable people in order to give tax breaks to the rich few.”

For a while it looked like Brooks might start to come around. Nope. Right back into the realm of regressive taxes against the poor. Because freedom.

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