Don't Call Tax Provisions "pork," Conservative Group Says

Conservative opponents of the economic rescue bill have taken to the airwaves to deride the extra tax provisions as either "pork" or "subsidies."

The reality, though, is that almost all of the provisions are extensions of existing tax cuts or tax incentives, and letting them expire would put Congress on record backing a tax increase, something most conservatives would like to avoid.

This chart  from Taxpayers for Common Sense, a watchdog group, does a good job of laying out the big (AMT tax relief) and the small (tariff on wooden children's arrows) tax provisions.

Many of the line items, like the break for wool producers or Virgin Islands rum makers, will undoubtedly be mocked on the House floor by opponents tomorrow before the next big vote.

But another leading anti-tax group warns conservatives that criticizing these items runs counter to their fiscal philosophy.

"Some conservatives in the press and in the blogosphere are calling tax cuts in the bailout package 'earmarks' and 'pork' this week," said Ryan Ellis Tax Policy Director for Americans for Tax Reform. "Calling tax cuts 'earmarks' is very unhelpful and completely wrong from a fiscal conservative perspective."