You have to give David Weigel a lot of credit for writing this story on how the Republican nominees for President are telling middle and working class families they should be paying more taxes. Trust me, when everyone is on vacation, and staffers aren’t sending out press releases, (between; I probably shouldn’t be saying this) it gets pretty hard to find something to write about. So props for Weigel’s creativeness, but unfortunately I don’t believe his argument will hold much water.
Weigel quotes Michelle Bachmann as saying”Part of the problem is today, only 53 percent pay any federal income tax at all; 47 percent pay nothing,” said Bachmann. “We need to broaden the base so that everybody pays something, even if it’s a dollar. Everyone should pay something, because we all benefit.”
It sounds eerily familiar to the argument Warren Buffet made a couple of weeks ago on why rich people should pay more in taxes. But he was talking about him and his friends who own corporate jets, not the people who don’t have enough saved to retire or are having trouble paying the rent. Personally, I would love for the GOP nominee to tell people he/she is going to raise their taxes. It would be a complete turnaround from trying to appease the Tea Party and Grover Norquist to saying Keynes was right after all.
Not surprisingly, the American people don’t want their taxes raised. In a Rasmussen Poll conducted earlier this month, 64 percent of Americans said it’s better to keep taxes low and reduce deductions, while only 16 percent said they would like to see higher taxes and more deductions. While economists like the debate whether or not people are rational, numbers like these show that they are.
The truth is the majority of people can’t afford to pay higher taxes right now. Whether it is a young person who graduated college and can’t find a job, a family with two kids that are about to take the SAT’s, or the main bread winner just loss his/her job and can’t find another one. But taking away small deductions like the child tax credit from Weigel’s report is a small step in the right direction. There are plenty of other, including corporate loopholes, that could be closed as well.
But the main reason why we shouldn’t be fooled into thinking taxes will be a winning issue for the Democrats is because the election is still over a year away. People aren’t going to remember what any of the nominees say now, especially since most people aren’t paying attention. Not to mention this story hasn’t gotten a lot of attention (sorry Dave) on television.
Even presumed front runner Mitt Romney is yelling at Republicans at the Iowa State Fair telling them he won’t raise their taxes. In Bachmann’s statement, she never gets specific on who the people not paying taxes are so the crowed won’t get awkwardly silent on her. If any of the nominees are specifically asked if they are going to raise taxes they will say no. I will bet any amount of money on it.
Even if more people noticed the statements being made right now, it would still be hard for people to believe Republicans want to raise taxes. Especially when the GOP uses easy to remember catch phrases like “tax and spend” to describe Democratic policies. So until we know who the GOP nominee is, I’m just looking for funny gaffes and reading the Borowitz Report.