In a potentially embarrassing gaffe, Rep. Bill Owens, D-Plattsburgh, accurately described his position on an issue in a July 21 Post-Star article.
The campaign of Republican Matt Doheny, who is seeking to oust Mr. Owens on Nov. 6, pounced on Mr. Owens' spin-free declaration that "We do need to raise taxes."
“I applaud my opponent for his honesty," Mr. Doheny said in a news release today. "Bill Owens wants another term to continue his push to 'increase revenue,' and 'raise taxes."
Mr. Doheny won't support any increase in taxes, and has signed a written pledge to oppose any effort to do so.
Mr. Owens, on the other hand, favors increasing taxes on those that make more than $500,000 annually by letting the Bush tax cuts expire. (So far, Mr. Owens has referred to this as "raising revenue," a euphemism for "raising taxes." The Maury Thompson article is the first euphemism-free description that I've read.)
Mr. Doheny favors extension of the Bush tax cuts, arguing that letting them expire will hurt businesses. He also favors lowering corporate tax rates, eliminating the estate tax and lowering top rates (i.e., a "flatter" tax code).
He also supports eliminating some tax deductions and expenditures, as long as any extra dollar that's raised from those eliminations goes toward reducing taxes in other areas. What deductions and expenditures? Mr. Doheny doesn't say. Doing so could lead to a really embarrassing gaffe.
In an email to supporters, spokesman Jude Seymour says: "Thirty years later, Ronald Reagan's words still ring true: We don't have a $16 trillion debt because we tax too little. We have have a $16 trillion debt because we spend too much."
A Democratic source forwarded me the email roughly three seconds later with a note that said: "Do I need to point out that Reagan raised taxes a dozen times while he was in the White House?"