How is it that the GOP is so feckless and ineffective that it can't even convince the 48% who voted for Romney that raising taxes on those making over $250,000 is both pointless and bad policy:
Sixty percent of all Americans back higher taxes on higher incomes in the new Post-ABC data. Earlier this month, an identical 60 percent of voters in the presidential election said income taxes should be raised on income over $250,000, according to the national exit poll.
Only 37% oppose the tax hike.
Other than a complete inability to communicate, there's no rhyme or reason for this. Facts, logic, and history are all with us in this debate, but we still can't make our case to more than 37% of adults?
We lost here, though, the moment Obama and the media were able to make the deficit reduction debate center on a silly tax increase as opposed to spending decreases. The fact that this tax increase is utterly meaningless only makes this poll all the more galling. The tax increase Obama's looking for is a drop in the ocean of debt we're facing, but yet if it passes, it will look as though Obama reduced the deficit.
Forget that any tax increase is bad economic policy (especially in this economy). It's also a trap. The damage the passing of this tax increase would do to Republicans with their base is the primary motivation behind what Obama and the media are up to. Raising tax rates would almost certainly suppress Republican turnout in the 2014 midterms. As a result, Democrats would make gains and possibly even win the House back.
But that's the good news. Here's the bad:
Other proposed solutions to shrinking the debt are far less popular with the public. Only 44 percent support new limitations on the deductions people can claim on their federal income taxes — a proposal that former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney put forward during his unsuccessful 2012 presidential campaign.
Our tax code represents everything wrong with the federal government -- specifically, tax deductions/loopholes. For starters, this is one way the government attempts to strip away our liberties and control our behavior. You get a tax credit for behaving one way or a penalty in the form of higher taxes for behaving another way. This isn't what the tax code is for.
The worst part of the deduction/loophole racket is the legal and illegal corruption it breeds. In order to win special deductions, special interest groups and lobbyists descend on DC like locusts -- but locusts who are welcomed by politicians of both parties. It's you and I these locusts are feasting upon.
Nothing would make me happier than to see every single one of these deductions and loopholes eliminated with the exception of the charity deduction. Deductions that help the middle income bracket -- like the mortgage deduction -- could be phased out over ten years.
In my mind, this is an easy case for Republicans to make to the public because it's a twofer: a way to increase taxes (especially on the rich) without increasing tax rates while simplifying the tax code in a way that all but snuffs out the lobbyist/special interest crowd.
But no, Republicans can't even sell something as easy as this.
And now comes the real bad news:
Even fewer — 30 percent — favor raising the age for Medicare from 65 to 67[.]
Yep, we're Greece.
As a kid, I remember my dad telling me that he had to give up overtime at his auto mechanic's job because the additional income landed him in a higher tax bracket. In other words, he was working more hours but taking home less money because he this extra income edged him into a higher tax bracket.
My dad's not a political guy, and he was just talking to me, not laying down a life lesson. And me, I was probably 12 years old. But still, I got it -- the destructive insanity and immorality of our government punishing hard work.
But the entire apparatus of the GOP can't make this argument in the same convincing way my dad did during a Saturday afternoon drive to the store.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC