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The Limits of Spin, Part II

In an earlier post I suggested you just can’t spin denial of healthcare.  No marketing effort can overcome the horror of seeing a loved one die for lack of insurance, when that lack that was voted into law by an elected representative.  Hell hath no fury …

Today’s post is updated to address taxes, as the House and Senate Republican tax bills go to committee. As a great President might have said, when it comes to taxes, you can fool some of the people all of the time.  Tax is math, and many Americans aren’t very good at math.  So it is possible to persist, for a very long time, in the false belief that you pay way too much in taxes; but also, in the false belief that your elected representative has dutifully voted for (alas evanescent) tax cuts for people like you.

As that same great President might have said, when it comes to taxes, you can fool all of the people some of the time.  George W. Bush passed what appeared to be a tax cut for everybody; but how many Californians or New Yorkers were able to navigate the Alternative Minimum Tax labyrinth, and discern that most of that tax cut never reached them?  How many times have you read about the extent to which the Bush tax cuts were never delivered to certain segments? Hmmn?

Which brings us to the Republican tax bills before Congress.  The question now at hand: can you fool enough of the people, for a long enough time, about who got their taxes hiked, and who got them cut, to get elected again?

In the affirmative: the aforementioned innumeracy now widespread among the American people. Do you understand your taxes?  Quick, tell me your marginal tax rate on the next dollar earned.

On the negative: most of the citizens who will either see their taxes go up, or see no tax cut, have a college education (that’s the downside of going after suburban affluent voters).  They can do the math; or they hire people who can.  They won’t be fooled again.

Can Republicans get re-elected, when the attack ads blanket the suburbs, yelling out, “Republicans raised your taxes!”

Hint: if the tax bill passes by Xmas, withholding allowances will be adjusted early in January. Take home pay will drop for those whose taxes were hiked.

Darn hard thing to spin.

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