President Bush’s tax cuts have become the governmental equivalent of a corporate poison pill, Paul Krugman observes in the New York Times, aimed at hamstringing new stewardship. Both prospective replacements have tax plans very much haunted by the Bush cuts, with one-time critic John McCain promising not only to make them permanent, but add more—and without a plan to replace revenue.
McCain, Krugman writes, needs "to shore up relations with the Republican base, which suspects him of being a closet moderate. But he’s not the only one seemingly trapped by the Bush fiscal legacy." Barack Obama’s plan raises revenue by rolling back cuts for the rich—but his unwillingness to repeal middle-class cuts will make universal health care tough to pay for.