Whether or not President Obama has done a number on Republicans (by increasing spending in the tax-cut compromise) or betrayed his Democratic base (by abandoning his promise to raise taxes on the rich) the fact is that the Bush tax rates continue. And the battle for the mind of America continues.
Absolutely critical is what the professionals call "messaging." We conservatives need to hammer away at the fundamental things that liberals have got wrong and persuade the American people, the moderates in the middle, that the liberals have got it wrong. As in:
- Corporations are evil. Corporations are big institutions that make products and deliver services to people. Since the limited liability corporation emerged in the mid 19th century the prosperity of the ordinary person that works for or buys from big corporations has sky-rocketed at a rate unprecedented in human history. Ordinary people that have been protected from big corporations in socialist countries and in the Third World have not done so well. This is evil?
- The rich should pay their fair share. The rich already pay more in tax as a percent of reported income than the middle class. How much more do you want? The record is that as you lower tax rates on the rich they mysteriously report more income. So, it seems from a practical point of view that if you want to tax the rich you should find a sweet spot that encourages them to fire the lawyers and tax accountants and just pay up.
- Inequality is the problem. Hey, it's morally tricky that some people make more money than others. Some people make obscenely more. But all we know is that, in the last two hundred years, the societies that didn't worry too much about inequality experienced the most increase in general prosperity while the societies that worried most about inequality experienced the least increase in prosperity. Anyway, once you let the government start messing with equality it merely starts to shovel money at the government supporters, irrespective of need. Government supporters just come to get defined as deserving and government opponents defined as undeserving. How unequal is that?
- The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. The majority of the poor in the United States cool their houses with air conditioning and own automobiles, and live in houses that, on average, are the same size as the the average house in Europe. And, of course, the poor benefit from the startling increase in life expectancy of the last two centuries. The poor are immeasurably richer than they were two hundred years ago. But then so are the rich.
- Americans are racists. Let us put it this way. In the last two hundred years there has been a sea change in the way that humans think about people who look different from them. Call it the influence of the Enlightenment or global commerce. In this move liberals were often a couple of inches in front of the rest of us. But often liberals have exploited race for political power, as in Affirmative Action, diversity, and racial quotas. In general, ordinary Americans have shut up and kept their heads down in the race wars while liberals have pontificated and shamed and blamed. Except for one shining moment in the 1960s liberals have plenty to be ashamed about when it comes to race.
Well, that will do for today. But it is an important subject. If we are to curb liberal political power we have to persuade the American people of the utter folly and utter delusion of liberal ideas and liberal talking points. And the next two years, as liberals try to squirm out of the mess they have got into, will be crucial.