Taxes --- The Big Kahuna

Taxes -- The Big Kahuna

by digby

Poor Greg Sargent is trying valiantly every day to show that the Democrats don't have to back off their promise to let the Bush tax cuts expire. He's got the data, he's got the arguments, he's got everything you need to show that the majority of Americans, including most of the vaunted independents, aren't losing any sleep over the wealthiest one percent having to kick in a few more bucks in taxes.

But I think Gregg is missing the reason the Democrats are doing this. It's not that they think the people are against it. They see the numbers. They are afraid of even having a conversation in which the subject is raised. The logic is that if the word "taxes" even come up in the debate at all, Democrats will lose.

This is, by the way, the same logic that took the death penalty and gun control permanently off the agenda. It's what they would like to do with abortion rights as well and are making great strides in doing. Except on the margins, national security is run by bipartisan consensus.

If they manage to take taxes completely off the menu too, then there isn't much left to fight about. That's the the one that finally gets to the very heart of the New Deal and the whole rationale for the social welfare system on the United States --- the big Kahuna, Grover's life's work, the preservation of the American plutocracy. Our wonderful, shiny new health care plan will die before it even begins and the existing programs will be slashed to pay for the items we have all apparently agreed are sacrosanct: military, homeland security and law enforcement. After all, somebody has to protect the wealth and security of the upper one percent.

It's not as if this discussion is important or anything.

And no, it's never easy to raise taxes. When times are bad, they say it will delay recovery, when times are good they say it will rain on the parade. But it's easier to let the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy die on Bush's schedule and come back and reinstate the tax cuts for the middle class than virtually any other scenario I can imagine. The Republicans have dumbed this down as they do everything else, but there's really no reason that good politicians shouldn't want this argument.