Daiblog A Fair and Balanced daily discussion of Democratic politics, ideas, strategy, and news
Friday, May 02, 2003
More On Tax Cuts
Here is a great column by Michael Kinsley in the Washington Post about the hypocrisy currently being employed by the Republicans on deficits. The column has some great arguments against supply side economics. And, it's kinda funny.
posted by Joshua
I don't think anyone is surprised to learn that the unemployment rate has continued to rise, and by now I think it's pretty clear that very few people actually believe that tax cuts are going to help the economy, much less create new jobs. The question now is how long it will take for national security concerns--completely valid though they may be--to be gobbled up as the election issue by the economy. How many out of work people do you have to know before it affects the way you vote? Democrats who are paying attention should notice that the Republicans/corporate interests are brewing a Molotov cocktail of unemployment, state budget shortfalls, and corporate bad behavior that, by rights, should blow up in their faces in 18 months.
Postscript: If the soft money ban stays struck down, of course, the tax cuts could create jobs in the election/campaign marketing sector.
posted by Amanda
Herbert's piece in the NY Times this morning got me to thinking that, while the Republicans are buying up NYFD t-shirts in September, the Democrats ought to be in Oregon, where anti-tax movements appear to be quickly approaching their logical conclusion. Check out, for example, this editoral from The Oregonian (from which I borrowed my tag line) actually begging voters to approve an additional income tax. Oregon, which until very recently was absolutely booming, is being crushed by its budget shortfalls and by voters' refusal to raise taxes, and it is almost certainly a preview of what's to come in the rest of the country in fairly short order unless some serious changes are made--and as such, it's a perfect backdrop for the Democratic message.
posted by Amanda
More on the 2004 GOP Convention, a.k.a. Flagapalooza
If you thought I was being unfair to Mr. McAuliffe, check this out from Michael Tomasky in The American Prospect:
Pop quiz: If the Democrats are going to stand a chance of beating George W. Bush in 2004, they are going to have to put tremendous effort and creativity into winning over which of the following groups of voters: a) gay men and lesbians or b) people (gay, straight, whatever) who currently think that the post-September 11 United States is just somehow more secure in Republican hands?
Yes, the question is a set-up. Republicans enjoy a bulbous advantage -- 30 points, even 40 in some surveys -- over Democrats on questions of foreign and domestic security. Sure, there are ways in which this isn't fair: the Department of Homeland Security was the Democrats' idea, the GOP's propagandists turn honorable dissent into treachery, all that. But however it got to be a fact, a fact it is. And it's not just a fact. It is the central fact of the presidential election at this early stage. The Democratic nominee will not stand a chance until he (I'm throwing out Carol Moseley Braun here; indulge me) puts some conviction and muscle behind a set of proposals that can convince Americans that the party is serious about fighting terrorism and protecting the national perimeter, and that the GOP doesn't own the issue.
Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee made an announcement on April 21 that is in every way more offensive and shocking than any idiocy that tumbled out of Santorum's mouth. For the entire history of the two-party system in this country, the parties have had a gentlemen's agreement that the conventions will take place before Labor Day, with the real, head-to-head campaigning to commence thereafter. But as we know very well, we are no longer dealing with gentlemen. So now the Republicans announce that they are going to meet in New York City about three miles from Ground Zero as near to the anniversary of the tragedy as possible. And they in essence acknowledge, discreetly but quite openly, that the purpose is to squeeze as much political gain out of the attacks, and the national-security issue, as they can.
This is a many-layered offense -- to the traditions and integrity (such that remains) of the American political process, to the firefighters and police officers who did not give their lives so that Bush could later use their deaths to get a bounce in the polls, to every American citizen who doesn't drink Karl Rove's Kool-Aid, and to plain decency.
And what have the Democrats had to say about this? Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued one statement, and to be fair, it was toughly worded. (Although he did issue two official statements on the Santorum flap.) But aside from that, I've seen nada. So here we have it: The one inviolable political rule that supposedly emerged from 9-11 was that no one, and no party, was to seek partisan advantage from the tragedy. Yet the Republicans are doing exactly that, and the Democrats scamper like mice. They hand Bush the issue on a golden platter and say practically nothing. It just so happens that September 11 is a Thursday -- historically, the evening on which the party's nominee gives his convention speech. Do they really have the cojones to . . . one supposes they'll probably do it the week before, but why wouldn't they choose the 11th? It's OK with the Democrats!
In my opinion, if the election of 2002 showed anything, it showed that the Democrats cannot avoid national security as an issue. Tomasky has some good ideas on what the Democrats can do in response to Flagapalooza. Go read the whole thing.
posted by Adam