All six Republicans on the debt-reduction super committee have signed a no-new-taxes pledge, and that means the panel can only dig up extra revenues if some of those six decide that eliminating some tax breaks doesn’t count as raising taxes. But getting rid of ethanol subsidies, the low-income housing tax credit, and many other tax breaks ought to be an easy decision. Some tax breaks are really just government expenditures in disguise, and should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other spending program. Other tax breaks do let people keep more of the money they’ve earned, as antitax activists might prefer, but create a plethora of other problems.
Glaeser, Edward L. "Tax Breaks Shouldn't be Sacrosanct." Boston Globe, 8/25/2011.