Some people are crowing about poll results showing that few people want to extend the Bush tax cuts, or that most people (including most Republicans) want to increase marginal income tax rates on the very highest income earners.
It’s important, first off, to read some of these polls skeptically.
But the more important fact is, the GOP’s tax policies have been unpopular for over a decade, but they enact them anyway.
Then-Gov. Bush in 1998 found “tax cuts to be ‘the least popular choice’ on his agenda among swing voters.” He changed his messaging in response, but prioritized tax cuts as president. He even claimed that the unpopularity of his tax program showed that he was guided by principle.
Now most Americans want the Super Committee members to compromise. It doesn’t matter. All six Republicans on the committee have pledged fealty to Grover Norquist’s “no taxes ever” agenda.
(Norquist, incidentally, was described by an adviser to then-Majority Leader Dick Armey a decade ago as the “Field Marshall” of the Bush Jr. policy agenda. To this day, the Republican Party is George W. Bush, from top to bottom).
Every single Republican will always sacrifice all other interests, regardless of context, to shrinking government revenues. A vote for any Republican running for federal office is a vote for Grover Norquist.
The below video (some commentary NSFW) is a metaphor for American politics. The honey badger’s hunger represents the Republican Party’s desire for tax cuts for people earning $250,000 or more per year or inheriting large sums of money; the swarm of bees and the cobra represent American public opinion; the birds and jackals represent social conservatives; the birds’ and jackal’s treats represents state laws restricting access to contraception and preventing legal recognition of same-sex relationships.
ADDED: Bruce Bartlett compiles 23 polls, all showing that Americans support raising taxes rather than spending cuts alone to reduce the deficit. This
will really impress Republicans won’t change a thing.