Some simple solutions
by David Atkins
In case you missed it, a reminder from CNN:
I’d like to know whether the following statement describes or does not describe the way you feel: “The present tax system benefits the rich and is unfair to the ordinary working man or woman.”
Does not describe: 29
Do you consider the amount of federal income tax you have to pay as too high, about right, or too low?
Too high: 45
About right: 50
Too low: 3
Let's be clear: there are only four things that keep Republicans alive, electorally speaking. They are:
1) A perception on the part of a lot of white people who believe that the tax system is unfair, that tax dollars are being spent on people who don't look like them;
2) An unfair legislative system that gives undue weight to less populated, overwhelmingly conservative areas to block key reformist legislation;
3) Gobs of corporate money;
4) A pliant media that fails to call a spade a spade.
All of these issues can be solved with bolder progressivism. The first issue can be tackled by reaching out more credibly to younger, less racist demographics, and by having a broad, credible middle-class agenda that actually rescinds tax cuts for the wealthy while creating demonstrable results even for comfortable middle-class whites (such as with universal healthcare and education improvement.)
The second can be tackled by weakening the filibuster, instituting the National Popular Vote, and following through on a variety of reforms that crank back some of the conservative ratchet effect.
The third can be addressed via a coherent push for real campaign finance reform and a constitutional amendment against money as speech.
The fourth can be dealt with by being as forceful about unfair treatment in the press as conservatives have been for decades.
Funny how none of the answers for what ails us and enables conservatives, lie in moving more to the "center."