We were reading an article in the WAPO about inequality in America by James Q. Wilson, Published: January 26.
Had the Obama administration framed the economic problems in the US in terms of the rich v.the poor, Republicans would have engaged in a welfare state attack against welfare queens and lazy Americans who need to get jobs. The country heard a lot of this rhetoric when Newt Gingrich was speaker of the House in the 1990s.
It is trickier for the GOP to attack programs like unemployment compensation and food stamps when the middle class started losing their jobs and homes.
These examples suggest the author is selectively looking at data and only presenting data that supports his conservative view points. This is not the mark of a scholar.
The author then says:
The one progressive tax we have in the US is income tax, the target of most conservative dialogue on taxes.
Was this system "fair to the rich?" Perhaps not, but the system worked. The national debt was under control. In the US we are no that fair to the poor. Do we need to be fairer to a much smaller elite?
Ronald Reagan flattened the tax system and drooped the marginal tax rate on the most affluent Americans was cut to 50 per cent and then to 28 per cent. After Bill Clinton, GW Bush lowered the tax rates for affluent Americans and also reduced short term capital gains to 15 per cent. He was also the only president to start a war with raising income tax.
Does James Q Wilson have conservative biases in his article? He defined the tax problem in the US incorrectly and made a glaring assumption that only flat taxes are fair. Fair to whom: the affluent? He glossed over the importance of the GINI coefficient.
This is is sloppy work for a professor.
James Q. Wilson, a former professor at Harvard University and UCLA, is the Ronald Reagan professor of public policy at Pepperdine University.
Pepperdine is considered to be one of the most conservative universities in the US. Still a professor should know better to publish an article with such blatant biases based upon a glaring assumption.
Does Rightardia blame the rich about inequality. No we blame the GOP, and the Republican Party Trojan Horse tax policy: supply side economics.