The Republican Path To Relevance

From DM, commenting at The Next Right:

“As someone in the tax bracket that will suffer most from Obama’s increase, and as someone on the board of a non-profit, I can assure you that you are not grounded here. This move by Obama is something that will be very well received. It is viewed as reasonable and fair. You characterize the White House’s defense as a “smarmy insinuation” but it is really a very clever way to look at the math, and it is inarguable. I get a a greater tax rebate for every $10K I donate to charity than my secretary does. How is that possibly fair? Yes, it is a clever new way of framing the issue, but it happens to make sense and will resonate with everyone who gives money to charity and has enough money to care about these things.

The right needs to focus on measures that will reduce waste and corruption in Obama’s spending. Obama has so out-maneuvered the right on taxes that is a hopeless angle. Lets face it, he just delivered the largest tax break in history. And his budget makes permanent his tax breaks for 95% of the country. And the 5% of the country that will pay more is largely (but not uniformly) sympathetic to Obama’s arguments–people remember doing very well in the Clinton years with higher marginal tax rates. And people with enough money to afford all the personal consumption they want–cars, houses, TVs, vacations, etc.-do care about the quality of state-delivered services: I want good schools in my neighborhood. I don’t want my town library to shut down. I care about veteran’s benefits (though I am not a veteran). I don’t want the city I am located next to (I am in the suburbs) to decline with greater crime and poverty. I can’t buy any more flat screen TVs or a larger house–just don’t need it. I do want some of those societal goods only government can provide, and if I have to pay a few percent more at the margin in taxes it is worth it. I spent more than I needed, but not more than I could afford, to buy something approximating a “dream house.” Why would I not spend what it takes, in taxes, to get the societal goods I also care about.

I think the biggest opportunity for the right is that one literally cannot spend these massive sums without waste and corruption. If the right can help constrain that, it has a great angle for relevance.”

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