According to the Romney campaign, the Tax Policy Center is a “liberal” group, and its finding that the Romney tax plan would be bad for the middle class is to be ignored. But when the same group reported the same conclusion about Rick Perry’s tax plan, that was “objective third-party analysis.”

How did the Brookings/Urban Institute Tax Policy Center go from being a purveyor of “objective third-party analysis” to being just another “liberal” group? In Romney-land, it was easy. When TPC analyzed Rick Perry’s tax plans and found that they would be disastrous for the middle class, that was objective analysis, according to the Romney campaign. When the same group did the same analysis of the Romney tax plan and reached the same conclusion, that was just liberal spin.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact:

6 thoughts on “Transformation”

  1. In a world where Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein are “ultra, ultra liberals” (did I leave out an “ultra”? I’m too lazy to check), calling Brookings/TPC merely liberal almost sounds like a compliment. And since I live in Texas, I’ve just been subjected to hundreds of political ads where a bona-fide Palin-backed tea-partier and a “tea-partier in name only” threw allegations of hyper-liberalism at each other with reckless abandon. If one didn’t know better, one might assume that the word has no meaning, but is simply used to foreclose any argument, and sadly, foreclose any reasonable efforts to make substantive arguments.

    If you had two kids of more-or-less equal intelligence, one who convinced his parents that his bad grades were due to the fact that his teachers were all biased against him because he was a decent, America-loving Christian, and another kid whose parents believed that her grades were an accurate reflection of how well she was doing mastering the material, the second kid has a much stronger incentive to work hard in school. And over time, the first kid might well find himself outside what could be called “the reality-based community.” But that’s okay, because the RBC is a liberal construct, suitable only for hippies and college perfessors.

  2. How can we tell whether the TPI paper is any good? Romney is nearly as secretive about his tax plan as he is about his taxes.

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