July 18, 2019

Tax the Rich and Give to the Dems

“Everybody hates taxes. That’s one of the unalienable truths in U.S. politics, and it’s been proven again as the April 15 filing deadline approaches. A drop in tax refunds earlier this year, potentially due to the Republican tax cuts in late 2017, infuriated Americans.*

While Republicans have long argued that opposition to taxes is baked into the country’s DNA, both parties see tax increases as an existential threat. In 2015, the Republican pollster Frank Luntz expressed the conventional wisdom, telling Bill O’Reilly that taxes were an “emotional” issue for voters: “Nobody wants to see their taxes go up.” For much of the country’s history, a simple calculus has defined political life: Voters reward politicians when taxes go down and punish them when they go up.

Democrats, long tarred as the party of high taxes, face a growing problem as they propose ambitious and expensive programs like Medicare for All and the Green New Deal. Fox News and other right-wing outlets have latched on to studies estimating that Medicare for All would cost $32 trillion over ten years and that the Green New Deal would cost $93 trillion. On Tuesday, more than 100 Democrats rolled-out the most ambitious single-payer health care bill yet, a sweeping plan that would enroll everyone in a government-funded program in only two years. But one detail, caught by a number of outlets, was missing: How much it would cost.”

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