Ramesh Ponnuru says he was right — from the beginning?* — about Pat Buchanan’s 1996 positions on taxes and entitlements. He links to a New York Times op-ed attacking the Forbes flat tax. But when you get past Buchanan’s rhetoric about the rich, the only differences are over the details of the estate tax and keeping middle-class tax deductions while cutting tax rates for high earners. Buchanan doesn’t call for raising tax rates on upper-income earners, though he does endorse a bunch of tariffs and trade restrictions. In 1994, Buchanan wrote a column (not online anywhere, so far as I can tell) praising Dick Armey’s Freedom and Fairness Restoration Act, on which the Forbes flat tax was based.
On entitlements, I was referring less to Buchanan’s innermost thoughts than to comments he made publicly expressing openness to Chile-style partial privatization of Social Security. But here the record is more mixed, especially since Buchanan opposed the congressional Republicans on Medicare.
I do like Ponnuru’s article, however, and would link to the other how many words I agree with if it were online.
*Alright, no more Right from the Beginning references for a while.