Friday, September 23, 2011

President Obama, please stop cutting taxes!

President Obama's administration has overturned decades of conventional political narratives about Democrats and taxes. The President has cut taxes for 95% of Americans, and made tax cuts centerpieces of the 2009 Stimulus bill and the 2011 tax cut package (the one that Republicans threatened to block unless they added an additional tax cut on income over $250,000 per year).

So when will Americans notice? Low information voters are likely to pick up on a very small set of signals from the politically active universe, and largely the perception of 'democrats' in general and Obama in particular as associated with higher taxes hasn't changed:
For example, as the President likes to say all the time, during his first two years in office he cut taxes for 95% of Americans . . . and yet poll results showed that less than 10 percent of Americans knew their taxes had gone down, while a third think they went up. (The rest think their taxes stayed the same). In addition, six in ten Americans think the country is over-taxed . . . even though taxes are at their lowest level since the 1950s. Part of this is no doubt a result of low-information voters being low-information voters – but it’s also a result of Democrats being generally perceived as the party of higher taxes.
Positive arguments (e.g. Barack Obama will cut your taxes- that's a positive) have not broken the low-information perceptual barrier. Protests and complaints may send a stronger signal that is more likely to make it into public consciousness.

Let's give the White House some hippies to punch and make them defend their record of cutting taxes in two huge rounds over the last three years and make them defend additional payroll tax cuts and income tax cuts on 95% of Americans. Come on, professional Left! This is our time!

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