How Anti-Tax Mania Took Over Our Politics


"The conservative movement’s embrace of taxophobia is probably the most important development in American political life over the last three decades," writes Jonathan Chait in Democracy. It has "reshaped the landscape of American politics" to the point where once-conservative economic ideas are now in the liberal mainstream, and yesterday's liberal views are now confined to the lefty fringe. How did this happen? Conservatives say it's because "supply-side" economics – especially the idea that cutting taxes for the rich unleashes economic growth and prosperity for all – won the battle of ideas. Chait says: not so much. In fact, "there are very few ideas that have failed as unequivocally as supply-side economics has failed." (See, for example, the massive and spectacularly ineffective George W. Bush tax cuts.) For Chait, the real driver behind taxophobia is a "moral disgust at income redistribution," and its political success has given us "an economy in which the vast majority see their incomes stagnate while a tiny few enjoy nearly all the gains."


The Triumph of Taxophobia [Democracy]

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