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Pundits & Editorials

E.J. Dionne defends the IRS while Buzz Aldrin scrutinizes Obama's plan for NASA. Plus: Will positions on financial regulation play a role in the coming midterms?

April 15, 2010

• "Rarely is it pointed out that if we stop IRS employees from trying to collect the money owed by those who cheat on their taxes, we are only increasing the burden on honest taxpayers," writes E.J. Dionne Jr..

• "Thanks to the tax credits in President Obama's stimulus plan and other programs aimed at helping working families, couples with two kids making up to $50,000 were generally off the hook this year," notes Gail Collins.

• "It is precisely this revenue-generating ability that makes the [value added tax] so appealing to liberal intellectuals and politicians," remarks the Wall Street Journal. "The middle-class is where the real money is, and the only way to get more of it with the least political pain is through a broad-based consumption tax such as a VAT."


• "I agree broadly with the president's [plan for NASA] because it contains many elements that I have advocated for years," commends Buzz Aldrin in USA Today. "These are good principles, to be sure. But the budget lacks key details."

• "NASA must not be a jobs program... The civil space program should help America define its future in space," argues Eric R. Sterner, fellow at the George C. Marshall Institute, in the Washington Times. "Few will dedicate their careers to a program constantly responding to short-term political developments, blown from mission to mission by changing political winds."

• Obama "has taken important steps toward a more secure world," commends the New York Times. "He and his team will have to keep pressing. The danger of nuclear terrorism is all too real. So is the danger that many of these leaders will forget what they promised the moment they get back home."

• "Before ratifying START, senators should try to find out whether our national security is being run by a dreamer who hopes our good faith will breed a mullah's good faith, or a realist willing to kill enemies with laser-guided Hellfire missiles in the northern frontier," writes Daniel Henninger (subscription).

• "For those like me -- not fighting in Afghanistan, not toiling in our foreign service, not extinguishing fires or fighting crime as a public servant -- paying taxes makes real my commitment to a functioning America," says Rich Benjamin. "That's why the Tea Party movement, with its churlish anti-government slogans and deadbeat timing, strikes me as so unpatriotic."

• "[Republicans] should oppose resolution authority that helps the big firms and, while they're at it, seek to increase the capital requirements on such firms that are left vague in the [financial regulation] bill," advises Michael Barone. "Democrats have taken the side of Wall Street. Republicans should stand up for Main Street -- and taxpayers -- instead."

• "[Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.] doesn't want to be seen publicly as doing Wall Street's bidding, but at the same time he is eager for Wall Street's financial support as the midterm election campaigns heat up," writes Andrew Leonard.

• "Things look bleak for Democrats right now," remarks Karl Rove (subscription). "And if Republicans connect the dots among record spending, skyrocketing deficits, rising taxes and a weak recovery, Democrats will suffer a midterm loss from which the Obama presidency may never fully recover."

• "I think it is welcome to have a president whose vision extends beyond the duration of his own term of office, though it entails a political risk that he could be cut off by the voters before any of his hopes are realized," remarks David S. Broder.

• "Conservatives should rethink their rhetoric about 'judicial activism,'" George F. Will advises. "The proper question is: Will the nominee be actively enough engaged in protecting liberty from depredations perpetrated by popular sovereignty?"

• "We can move quickly to strike a major blow at oil and OPEC's dominance if we'll adopt a portfolio approach and stop allowing the perfect to be the enemy of the good. We can get a long way using existing vehicles, existing technology and affordable natural gas," advocates R. James Woolsey, former CIA director, in the Wall Street Journal (subscription).

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