Weekend Editorial Roundup

Here are the highlights from this weekend’s editorials on fiscal and budget policy:

The Wall Street Journal questioned whether the economic recovery would be able to sustain a few counter-cyclical blows that are coming down the road.  With the inevitable Federal Reserve rate-hikes and the possibility of the expiration of the Bush tax cuts, they wondered whether "the expansion will have built up enough steam to ride out these and other growth shocks."

The New York Times argued that the Obama Administration's new foreclosure plan would not be enough to foster a significant recovery in the housing market.  They believed that even if the program works to maximum effectiveness, it would only make a dent in the number of foreclosures.  Additionally, for the program to work better, they argued that the program must start to be more compulsory for lender participation.

The San Francisco Chronicle argued that the Federal government should apply its special rules for Haiti charitable donations to all charities.  Currently, 2010 Haiti contribution can be deducted from 2009 tax returns.  The Chronicle wanted this rule to be extended to all qualified charities, such that donations made after April 15 of this year could be deducted from 2010 tax returns, for example.  The certainty of tax savings this rule would provide, they argued, might encourage more charitable giving.

The New York Times urged lawmakers to pass a law taxing hedge fund manager income at income tax rates rather than long-term capital gains rates.  Hedge fund manager income has grown to all-time highs, they said, so fairness dictates that they should pay individual income taxes like other wage-earners do.  They also said that reform of this provision in the tax code was related to financial reform efforts to have more oversight on private investment groups.