Must-read for the day
Jacob Levy’s latest TNR Online piece takes a serious look at the “lucky duckies” argument and the liberal snark that’s followed. His point: The Journal has provided an irresistible target: Republicans proposing to raise taxes, not cut them! On poor people! For purposes of naked partisan gain! As you might expect, most of the commentary ...
The Journal has provided an irresistible target: Republicans proposing to raise taxes, not cut them! On poor people! For purposes of naked partisan gain! As you might expect, most of the commentary surrounding this idea has treated it as uniquely appalling and indefensible. But the truth is that it’s a line of argument that is very familiar, especially among communitarian and social democratic elements on the left. True, it’s almost always morally dubious. But sometimes it also happens to be unavoidable. (emphasis in original).
What’s brilliant about this piece is that Levy points out that the argument that the tax burden should be shared broadly is of a piece with arguments that the left is far more comfortable advancing — reviving the draft, opposing school vouchers, and keeping Social Security as a universal benefit. Read the whole thing. UPDATE: Still interested in the topic? Go read Russell Arben Fox’s critique of Levy’s hostility to communitarianism as well. And Kevin Drum provides a more specific critique of the tax question.
Daniel W. Drezner is a professor of international politics at the Fletcher School at Tufts University and the author of The Ideas Industry. Twitter: @dandrezner
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