Whom do we believe on the viability of the tax issue in the 2008 elections David Frum or
Grover Norquist? Are there any legs left in the supply side debate about taxation? Are Republicans the victims of their own success? Do voters care more about taxes than other issues?
There is little reason to doubt that Norquist is a first rate strategist. But his big tax issue is wearing a bit thin. The nation is moving left, convinced of the shrill Democratic arguments about economic insecurity. Lowering the top rate a few points downward has limited appeal suggests Frum. David Brooks agrees.
Property taxes rose to the forefront during the 2006 state election with most candidates offering some kind of relief. The public is still waiting for Deval’s plan. But that same public has been battered, ignored and ridiculed by a tax-happy legislature.
Can taxes be a viable issue for the MassGOP? Or is it ceding the entire field to Carla Howell?
Discuss among yourselves, please. To begin let’s start with David Brooks’s keen observation:
Supply-side economics had a good run, but continual tax cuts can no longer be the centerpiece of Republican economic policy. The demographics have changed. The U.S. is an aging society. We have made expensive promises to our seniors. We can’t keep those promises at the current tax levels, let alone at reduced ones. As David Frum writes in “Comeback,” his indispensable new book: “In the face of such a huge fiscal gap, the days of broad, across-the-board, middle-class tax cutting are over.”
The political situation has changed, too. Republicans used to appeal to the investor class with economic policies and the working class with values, crime and welfare policies. But that formula has broken down. The workers are walking away from the G.O.P., and the only way to win them back is by listening to their economic concerns