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January 07, 2013

"Liberalism’s $400,000 Problem"

Maybe good news from Ross Douhat:

. . . these negotiations amounted to a test of liberalism’s ability to raise revenue, and it isn’t clear that this outcome constitutes a passing grade: If a newly re-elected Democratic president can’t muster the political will and capital required to do something as straightforward and relatively popular as raising taxes on the tiny fraction Americans making over $250,000 when those same taxes are scheduled to go up already, then how can Democrats ever expect to push taxes upward to levels that would make our existing public progams sustainable for the long run?

. . . 

What was somewhat clear already has become a lot clearer: There is a significant constituency among Congressional Democrats that was already uncomfortable with the $250,000 threshold and wanted to push it higher — all the way to a million dollars, if a certain influential New York Senator had his way — and the possibility that these Democrats might go wobbly in a post-cliff scenario gave the White House a reason (or an excuse) to concede ground that Obama had once promised to defend unstintingly. Nor is this tax-wary caucus likely to grow weaker with time: It exists because many Democratic lawmakers represent (and are funded by) a lot of affluent professionals in wealthy, high-cost-of-living states, and that relationship is only likely to loom larger if current demographic and political trends persist. 

Comments

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Tom

I fail to see the good news here. When has the "we can't pay for this" ever been sufficient reason for politicians to not spend money?

Terry Pratt

Liberals like to throw taxpayers' money at problems. I like to reduce the excessive regulation which artificially creates the perception of need for existing public programs.

For example, I believe that government artificially created a perceived need for Section 8 rental assistance through excessive regulation of housing, which restricts supply, inflates standards and drives up rents.

Reduce the excessive regulation and we will find that we don't really 'need' all that spending after all.

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