Notes on the Atrocities
Like a 100-watt radio station, broadcasting to the dozens...

Saturday, May 10, 2003  

Glancing through the current New Yorker, and I came across this:

"More than half the President’s tax cuts would come in the form of abolishing the taxation of corporate dividends. The primary recipients would be rich people and senior citizens, since they own most of the dividend-yielding stocks. For example, Sanford Weill, the chairman of Citigroup, would get a tax cut of about six million dollars. Based on 2001 figures, Vice-President Dick Cheney would save about a hundred thousand dollars. The dividend plan might persuade yacht builders and assisted-living communities to hire some extra help, but it won’t do much for the rest of the nearly nine million unemployed.

"...[E]ach new job would cost the government five hundred and fifty thousand dollars in lost revenues, which is about seventeen times the salary of the average American worker. It would be far cheaper for the federal government to give private firms subsidies to hire more people, or to give money to the states, which are facing their worst financial crisis since the Second World War, and which at this moment are being forced to fire teachers, troopers, and health workers. Parks, museums, and libraries are closing; cultural programs are being cut. College-tuition fees are rising, and scholarships are vanishing. Hundreds of thousands of people stand to lose their state-provided health-care coverage. (Meanwhile, taxpayers will be laying out billions of dollars to reconstruct Iraq.)"

To underscore the three-point strategy, what should good lefties do with this information? To begin with, it seems clear America is pretty well aware of these data (or roughly aware): when polled, they say they believe his economic policies are unsound. This makes Democrats pull their hair out. And then they lamely point it out again, hoping that might do some good: the tax cuts are going to the rich; aren't you incensed? But of course, they're not.

It's because the paradigm hasn't shifted. This is where the slow uphill battle begins. Lefties have to take this information and put it aside. Whether or not to cut taxes is staying on-point for the President (or god forbid, whether the tax cut is $350 billion or $550 billion!). Instead, Democrats would be wise to follow a strategy of promoting the ideas that would be good for the economy. These are, as everything needs to be, delivered on message as part of the positive, hopeful future-approach of the new Dems. Simply vote no on the legislation and begin moving forward. Then the question of why you voted no on the legislation leads you squarely back onto your message and your policies.

posted by Jeff | 11:28 PM |
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