A New York Times editorial, reversing from the newspaper's longstanding position, opposes the federal tax deduction for state and local taxes. Says the Times: "New Yorkers, who pay higher taxes than most Americans, get more extensive and higher quality public services. Residents of other states choose lower taxes and less government. Federal tax policy should provide consistent support for either choice."
It's nice to see the Times waddling in to join the correct side of this fight. It's only about 15 and a half years after a New York Sun editorial took the same point of view. In that October 2005 editorial, "Seeing Daggers," the Sun wrote:
Certainly an end to the federal deduction will cause New Yorkers to feel more acutely the burden of their state and local taxes, which are among the highest in the nation. But such pain - and the heightened competition between jurisdictions that will come with the elimination of the deduction - can only increase political pressure on state and local government in New York to reduce spending and taxes. As it is, the state and local tax deduction creates a perverse incentive that actually encourages states and cities to increase taxes on the theory that otherwise the money will just end up in Washington.
The junior senator from New York, Hillary Clinton, commenting on the commission's proposal, managed to hoist herself on her own petard, that is, dagger. "It is very troubling to hear that the President's tax reform panel has recommended the elimination of a tax benefit for over 3.2 million New York families who are disproportionately burdened by high property and state income taxes," she said. The reason those taxpayers are "disproportionately burdened by high property and state income taxes" is that they've been electing tax-raising Democrats from Mrs. Clinton's party. Rather than fighting to preserve a federal tax policy that provides an incentive for those policy errors, Mrs. Clinton could encourage state Democrats to curb spending and reduce taxes, so that New York taxpayers would no longer be "disproportionately burdened."
In respect of the Times, better late than never. Maybe Senator Schumer, too, will eventually come around.