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February 22, 2012

What is the Goal in this Election?

Is this a protest, or do we really intend to win the presidency?

In the comments, I argued with politics about Mitt Romney's statement that he'd make sure the rich "pay their fair share."

Suddenly, it turns out, that's a horrible thing to say. Despite Romney's proposal to drop the top marginal tax rate to 28% (which seems too low, given it produced big deficits), apparently adding in the rhetorical caveat "the rich should pay their fair share" is a deal-breaker, because we cannot possibly "concede any of the left's narrative."

Even if what he means is that by eliminating most loopholes, 28% will mean something closer to 28%. That is, if the public is worried about "loopholes" and wants to gin up the marginal tax rates -- isn't the better solution to address the question of loopholes? And drop the marginal tax rate to something more reasonable?

This is the fundamental premise of calls for "tax reform." The idea is that you close all the loopholes and reduce deductions, and just post a real marginal rate that you expect people to actually pay (or close to it). You don't pump up a marginal rate and then let people dodge it with lots of loopholes.

It's a call for tax transparency -- your rate is what you actually pay. And if you're closing loopholes, you can also afford to lower the marginal rate.

How can anyone be against a "fair" share? The very term is loaded such that you cannot be against a fair share. Because, then, what do you support? An unfair share?

That's why Obama says it sixty three billion times. Because it polls well.

Do you really want our candidate arguing against a "fair share"?

Or arguing: Yes, I want the rich to pay their fair share. That's the point of my tax reform proposal.

I'd rather have it the latter way.

Furthermore, whether or not this is a concern to you, it is a concern of independents -- 57% of which do not think the rich are paying their "fair share."

So is Romney allowed to even rhetorically nod towards fairness?

Or is the plan to run on the true -- but politically toxic -- notion that the poor should be paying more in taxes, and the rich somewhat less?

Here's what I wrote in the email, and what I believe:

I believe the party wants to lose.

I believe the party has decided the problems facing us are so big that they cannot be overcome.

I believe the party has decided, maybe subconsciously, maybe consciously, that we are not up to the task, and the best thing to do is just duck out and Blame the Other Guys. Let them Own Their Problems.

If that's the plan, let me know. We don't have to contend very hard at all if our goal is to lose.

Easiest thing in the world, losing. Even easier when you've gotten practice at it.

I believe the party does not think it is capable of working positive good in policy. If so, I take it as knowing itself best, and perhaps it's time for a new party.

If the party is basically taking the position that governance is itself fundamentally unconservative -- the messy compromises and punts that typically occur in politics (and must occur in politics) -- then we're not a governing party any longer.

We're an ideological, protest sort of party -- like the Libertarian Party.

I think most people actually do not want to win, or, at least, do not wish to win in any plausible scenario. What I mean by that is that sure, they'll win, so long as they have a guarantee that there will never again be a single compromise in politics and will never again face a politician who disagrees with him.

That's not realistic, and that's not politics. It's political philosophy. You can be as pure as you like in political philosophy.

I used to make fun of the Libertarians for this.

Are we now all Libertarians, in that sense?

Reagan said the same thing. This is a liberal ad, showing how Obama's rhetoric echoes Reagan, but Reagan did say this.


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posted by Ace at 04:48 PM

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