Bravo, Barry. It's about time you started calling out the Right on their bullshit.
I would like to give him (and everyone) one piece of advice though, when discussion taxation: Avoid the discussion of "fairness." I know, I know! And I've made fairness-based arguments in the past, linking multiples of the median income in this country to various levels on Mazlow's hierarchy of needs, for example. And these arguments are very effective at convincing people who already agree with you that you're right. They are not very persuasive with anyone who's not already on board. And I'm not conceding the fairness point - I do happen to be of the opinion that the rich in this country do not, in fact, pay their FAIR share of the tax burden. BUT... that's my opinion.
And there's the rub: One cannot objectively quantify "fairness." Whether or not something is "fair" relies entirely on the parties involve FEELING that it is fair. If someone FEELS or is OF THE OPINION that they're being cheated? Well guess what? That's one person who BELIEVES that "it" is not fair!
Fairness is an entirely subjective phenomenon.
Now... I will happily raise my hat and tip my glass to fellow working-class warrior, Elizabeth Warren. SHE got it right. And Conchobhar included some of the best parts of her speech a few posts back. It's truly great stuff but, alas, I fear the "Social Contract" may yet be a little bit too high-brow for the Average American these days. I heard a very well educated man trying to explain it the trainer in the Gym the other night - a black man, who definitely makes only a working-class wage, and yet was attacking the idea of taxing the rich! - and I could see that the argument was not the least bit persuasive. In fact, it came sounding like the kind of namby-pamby Liberal whining that the Right has so effectively charactarized ALL of the higher moral aspects of civilization as over the past 30 years or so.
And besides, I think there's a much better way to put it, and it comes right from the comments section of this very blog...
In response to Tax/Deficit post back in July, Steeve put it absolutely perfectly:
Raise taxes on everyone until they feel the tiniest pinprick of pain.
So you raise taxes 0.001% on most people and they feel immediate pain. Raise taxes 60% on the rich and they feel no pain at all. That's not my problem. Hell, it isn't anyone's problem.
And there you go.
The reason we tax the rich? Because we can do so without impacting their daily spending decisions. And thus it cause no further economic pain, despite the Right's constant bed-wetting about it.
THIS is why you will inevitably end up taxing the rich. Because doing anything else, including significantly reducing spending, is economic suicide. The Right might want that, and Fox News might want that, but the American People do not.
So... STEEVE in 2012?