Taxing Logic
I watched the White House fan out across the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday, in order to defend its controversial (at least for Democrats) tax cut compromise with Republicans. I was especially entertained by Austan Goolsbee, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, who argued on Meet the Press that President Obama would run successfully for reelection in 2012 on a platform of repealing the temporarily-extended tax cuts for those in the top income bracket(s). If Obama is reelected, it will be in spite of this approach.
I encourage you to watch the video here, and you’ll quickly get the sense that even Goolsbee doesn’t really believe his own spin. This populist, millionaires against the middle class rhetoric failed miserably in the midterm elections. Even if the economy is humming along again by 2012, which Goolsbee seems to be counting on, it’ll still be a losing strategy. Democrats can have a semantic debate about whether the rate rollback can fairly be called a tax increase, but in the heat of the presidential election that is precisely how it will be perceived by voters. Republican campaign strategists will pretty much guarantee it. For all of Goolsbee’s wishful thinking yesterday morning, I would bet the current Bush-era tax rates will be around for a long time to come.
Note: Back posting on Wednesday. -Dean


Posted On: 12-17-2010 21:28:27 by Bill
I don't see why this strategy must necessarily be a losing strategy provided that long terms deficits are taken seriously and cuts to popular entitlement programs are in the offing. If the frame is, we must raise revenue or we must cut social security, that's a stark choice. How does one justify the current rates on the richest Americans against this set of choices? I don't understand why Republicans care so much for the top 2%.

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