Thursday, September 29, 2011

Tax the rich?

With polls showing strong public support for tax hikes on the rich, Republicans should hardly relish a fight with President Obama over “class warfare.” And yet, for weeks, GOP leaders have been bashing the White House for a tax plan that affects just 2 percent of U.S. households and lets the rest of us off the hook.

How is this smart politics?

Maybe it isn’t, but sticking up for the rich is more popular than one might think – and not just in Palm Beach. America is a famously aspirational country and Republicans have long sought to ally themselves with that ethos. If you want to make a pile of money, the GOP is the party for you – or so they say. It vows to clear away barriers to getting rich, like pesky employer healthcare mandates and environmental rules, and let you keep more of your winnings.

Meanwhile, the conservative story goes, all the left cares about is social leveling. Democrats want to punish the successful in order to subsidize the losers, leading us toward a dreary future in which America’s hot shots no longer even make an effort and everyone ends up poorer. As Fox News puts it, Obama favors “takers” over “makers.”
Read the rest at Reuters, Why the GOP defends the wealthy by David Callahan

This is all about framing. MMT shows how the debate can be framed successfully by showing how wider distribution of effective demand (and therefore income) results in a more efficient economic system that yields more for everybody.


Anonymous said...

People may choose to believe this, so long as their own lives are tolerable.

GLH said...

The problem is that the President and the Republicans are both on the same side. The President just pretends to be their adversary. Even if O. tries to make this about taxing the rich, everyone will suspect -know- that he is just playing politics. I'm with Ralph Nader, the Democrats really, really need a challenger to O.