◼ The High Cost of Dems’ Cheap Populism - Seth Mandel/Commentary @SethAMandel
Last week, I wrote about the fact that President Obama’s approach to taxes as part of the “fiscal cliff” negotiations is billed as taxing the rich but would end up hurting the poor and possibly deepening inequality. Policies built on the flimsy populism of “fairness”–at least as modern Democrats define it–are quite often devoid of economic common sense. What’s more, the Democrats seem to know this.
The New York Times offers a “News Analysis” today in which it is revealed that the Republicans are right on the merits of most of the arguments, but Obama and congressional Democrats have boxed themselves in by relentlessly demagoguing the issue....
◼ Income Malaise of Middle Class Complicates Democrats’ Stance in Talks - Anne Lowry/New York Times
The income stagnation that has hit the middle class in the last decade is complicating the Democrats’ position in the fiscal talks, making it more difficult for them to advocate across-the-board tax increases if a deal falls through.
Many Democrats have derided the expiring tax cuts as irresponsible since President George W. Bush signed them a decade ago. Yet the party is united in pushing to make the vast majority of them permanent, even though President Obama could ensure their expiration at year’s end with a simple veto.