Thursday, March 08, 2007

The Huey Long March to Power

The all tax cuts all the time strategy lost popularity especially because the tax cuts were so regressive. Waaaaaaay back in 1992 during real time polling of reactions to a presidential debate from Clinton supporters, Bush supporters and undecided voters all three agreed with Clinton (pushing the "agree" button) when he said "only rich people have had their taxes cut". This was, of course, absolutely true given the FICA tax increases.

Clinton's popularity tanked when he decided he couldn't manage a middle class tax cut. This was (uncharacteristically) dumb. The richest 1 or 2 or 2% paid 85% of the Clinton Tax increase. It would have been possible to have the richest 1 or 2 (or 3 only 1% care about the difference) pay 105% and manage a middle class tax cut.

The people want to soak the rich and spread it out thin. They say so every chance they get (remember polling during the social security privatization debate when 60% wanted to eliminate the payroll tax ceiling).

No party, indeed no politician, is going with this. I think it reflects, partly, the power of money in politics, more, the effect of self interest of opinion leaders and most the effect of group interest among the elite distorting debate and creating a consensus that such a policy is totally beyond the pale. Even I feel the need to use Huey Long's phrasing to grasp the nettle.

When some politician finally dares to propose raising rich people's taxes and cutting everyone elses, well we better hope that he or she has more respect for the constitution than Bush does or it will be in danger, because that poltician will have a dangerous level of popular support.

OK OK so the title goes beyond Huey and grasping the nettle and I do, it appears, owe something to the thought of Marx. So ?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

A stunningly fine series of posts. My oh my. Stunning.

anne

Anonymous said...

A stunningly fine series of posts. My oh my. Stunning.

anne

Anonymous said...

"Love and Death" is my favorite, but Woody Allen is masterful.

anne