Knee Jerk Politics and Income Inequality
Republicans are very effective at being able to place their talking points on bumper stickers. Their message often does not have any substance or supporting evidence to back up their assertions, but they are able to strike a chord on a basic emotional level with a certain segment of our population.
Democrats on the other hand often need people to think a little bit more in order for them to understand both, the implications of Republican policies and why Democratic policies would benefit them more. Many voters either do not have the patience to take the next step or they do not trust anyone who asks them to take that next step.
The dilemma for Dems often is, how do they counteract Republican rhetoric that is designed to bring about that knee jerk response from voters.
Let us look quickly at the example of income equality. Much ado has been made out of January's Pew Research poll concerning income inequality, "two-thirds of the public (66%) believes there are "very strong" or "strong" conflicts between the rich and the poor--an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009." While other polls have come out stating that income inequality is not an issue with the majority of Americans, I feel that most would agree that the majority do not see worsening the divide between the rich and the rest of us as a good thing.
Republican's love talking about a flat tax or at the minimum, a flatter tax. Without thinking about the implications, the knee jerk response from their base is excitement, which results in complete devotion to the cause. What could be fairer than everyone paying the same percentage of their income for federal income taxes.
Meanwhile the ultra-wealthy campaign donors who we can envision sitting along the bar at the club smoking cigars and drinking scotch, are equally amused and amazed that their Republican friends have managed to convince a sizable portion of the masses to believe that crap.
According to an article from Forbes, Newt Gingrich's tax plan explodes our national debt by nearly one trillion dollars the first year it would be enacted. In the article written by Howard Gleckman he states, "and while most of the nation's lowest-income families would get no benefit from these tax cuts, the top 0.1 percent (who make an average of more than $8 million) would get about a quarter of the windfall, according to new estimates by my colleagues at the Tax Policy Center."Continued on the next page