Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Reason #122: Demagoguery

Maybe it's a little over the top to suggest that demagoguery is unequivocally a good thing, but I thought that it would present an interesting contrast to yesterday's "Candor", so here we are.

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island revealed yesterday his plans to intrioduce the Buffett Rule to the floor of Congress this week in bill form. I've certainly said my piece about this already, but simply put, the bill would set thirty percent of one's income, if said income totals over one million dollars, as the minimum amount of taxes one must pay. There would still be a range of actual percentages based on deductions and such, but thirty percent would be the absolute minimum - which even critics say would result in around $35 billion in additional revenue; also known as twice that NASA spends in a year.

Make no mistake; this basically amounts to the Democrats making hay out of a popular issue (even 66% of Republicans have polled as supporting higher taxes for the wealthy) in the face of what may actually happen. Even some Democrats are reluctant to voice support for higher taxes on anyone--at least until after the election--and I have to admit that as far as this issue has come in the last few months, I seriously don't expect something like Whitehouse's bill to pass anytime soon.

But in a democratic system, popular support is always fair grounds for at least raising an issue (which echoes once again the point I made yesterday). Maybe the only advantage to this bill coming up now is in Dems getting to complain on the stump this fall that Republicans voted against it, but if Republicans are so keen to do so, they should at least be forced to defend that position in public.

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