Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Taxing the Wealthy: Managing the Sale of the Idea

The latest proposal by President Obama to increase the taxes that the wealthy and corporations pay really is being poorly sold. The disclaimer that it isn't a shot in class warfare, but simple math somehow is not convincing.

It is class warfare: the middle class against the wealthy.

And the President is making a tactical error by that disclaimer.

In my opinion, what he needs to do is to reify the concept of the wealthy. Most of us know personally few people that are the rich. Having lived in Minot and living in Grand Forks does that. What are the wealthy like? We automatically think of some person like Mr. Lodge, with his spoiled daughter Veronica, as a prototype. But, unless we're Betty Cooper on her bad day, that doesn't work up much class envy. What the President needs to do to sell his tax bill is to identify who might be affected by this increase in taxes: Hollywood actors and producers, members of the U.S. Senate, NY Times Columnists (yes you, TF and PK!!!!), the penthouse cattle on HGTV's "Selling New York," various residents in Massachuetts, New York, and California, limousine liberals, Rush Limbaugh, Division I football and basketball coaches, NFL owners, college presidents, stockbrokers, bankers, the Kennedys, and so forth.

If he was to follow that approach, even most working conservatives, as opposed to trust fund babies, would leap up in support.


  1. Between Hollywood and the NY Times bigwigs, I wouldn't mind a little serious discomfort, financial or otherwise! And the Senate wouldn't be bad either.

  2. An excellent idea! I'm voting for you!