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Monday, August 09, 2010

McIlheran Watch: Ignorance of the Dumb

by folkbum

I thought perhaps we could just play "simple answers to stupid questions":
My Sunday Journal Sentinel column looks at all the excuses the left is offering to let the term-limited 2001 and 2003 tax cuts expire.

Mainly, I write, it comes down to wanting to increase taxes on some people--the ones they think have too much money. Only, just where in the constitution does it say our leaders have the right to decide who has too much money, much less to, um, remediate that?
Um, Article 1 section 8? "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes." Done, right? No, sadly, he doesn't stop there where the simple answer would suffice.

Let's kind of give McIlheran credit, though: Those paragraphs offer the correct implication, that while Democrats will let Republican policy take effect and sunset the Bush tax cuts, they will offer new tax cuts for those earning less than $250,000 a year--those who in his parlance are the ones Democrats think "have too much money." I prefer of course to think of them as "the only people who have seen growth in their income in the last thirty years," but he makes the big bucks down there to the newspaper and I'm just a schlub with access to google, so he gets to define the terms.

McIlheran can't bring himself to say that explicitly, that the only people who will see their effective federal taxes increase are the ultra-wealthy. He can't do it because he needs to play ignorant, and keep his readers ignorant, to make the remainder of his points. First, majorities of Americans are in favor of letting all the tax cuts or the tax cuts for the wealthiest expire on schedule. It's hard to gin up populist anger when the popples are not on your side, unless you play ignorant.

Second, the rest of that blog post is all about "how the repeal of those Bush tax cuts would hit middle-income families." In reality, the Democrats' proposals would have zero hit on middle-income families. Period. There would be no change. So the whole rest of that post is worth exactly nothing. Every word of it is moot, every sentence is a lie.

Is that something McIlheran will ever admit? No. See, the right is counting on you to stay ignorant, because if you knew what you were really getting with a Republican agenda, you'd never agree to it.

(Updated to add the graphic again that originally appeared here in this post.)

(Updated again with mad props to JimSpice, who comments here often, too: "Why on earth would a conservative try to sway the opinion of liberals by sending them to the Heritage Foundation. That's as useless as convincing a conservative by quoting a scientific journal.")

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