In today's Bloomberg post, I get political:
If you’re a boxing fan, you’ve probably seen a video of Frazier vs. Foreman. It’s one of the most one-sided fights in history -- Frazier, who had conquered Muhammad Ali just two years earlier, gets knocked down six times in less than two rounds by the future barbecue-grill merchant. Again and again, Frazier fires his most fearsome weapon -- the famous left hook that had felled Ali. But this time, it wasn’t working.
Watching Republicans come up with economic policy ideas reminds me a little of Frazier vs. Foreman. Tax cuts are the Republicans’ left hook -- the weapon that swept them to glorious victories in the Ronald Reagan years. Today, after having been knocked down twice by Barack Obama, the GOP is throwing its roundhouse again and again -- and just not connecting.
The American Enterprise Institute’s James Pethokoukis sums up why the Republicans are so intellectually impotent:
A new manifesto making the rounds in conservative circles is ... a time-travel tale ... Activists hope that embracing supposedly timeless economic policies, such as tax cuts and balanced budgets, will unite and then ignite the Republican Party
Not surprisingly, the conservative plan calls for a vague lowering of "tax rates for every taxpayer." ...But even with the Obama tax hikes, the top-marginal tax rate today is just 39.6 percent. And [for most people,] payroll taxes are what really count ... Moreover, lowering income taxes without offsetting spending cuts or higher taxes elsewhere — the plan offers neither — is unrealistic. And let's face facts: Coping with America's rising elderly population will require a higher national tax burden in coming decades even with a reformed entitlement system ...If conservatives and Republicans desire a return to relevancy, then they can't offer today's voters reruns from the '80s and '90s in an attempt at solving yesterday's problems.
If you’re a conservative and you’ve lost the American Enterprise Institute, you’ve lost.Read the whole thing here! Politically motivated comment trolls are welcome, of course.