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Richman, Poor Man

Commentary's Dickensian-named Rick Richman says opponents of tax cuts for the affluent have had an "intellectual collapse:

[I]t is not too soon to note the intellectual collapse of one of Obama’s principal arguments. For the past two years, he castigated the Bush tax cuts as breaks for “millionaires and billionaires,” even though the across-the-board cuts primarily benefited people in the lower brackets (the proportion of millionaires and billionaires among taxpayers is one-third of 1 percent, according to the latest IRS statistics). In order to raise any real money from “millionaires and billionaires,” Obama had to define them as individuals making one-fifth of a million dollars (one-fourth in the case of couples) – because there were 10 times as many people in that group as real millionaires, and therefore (applying the Willy Sutton principle of public policy) that was the place to go.
The White House ended up opposing a “compromise” under which taxes would be raised only on real millionaires, since there was not enough money in that group to make that resolution sufficiently remunerative for the government. More than taxing millionaires and billionaires, the White House really wanted to tax the non-millionaires. When that proved impossible, the White House went in a different direction.
In contrast, the Republicans were unified around a set of principles easier to explain and defend: don’t raise taxes in a recession; don’t increase taxes on employers if you want more employment; don’t ask the public, which is fairly crying out for you to cut spending, to send you $700 billion more to spend. These principles are unlikely to be proved wrong in two years.

An intellectual collapse would mean that economists had come to agree with the Republican view that the 1993 Clinton tax hike destroyed the work incentive for the rich and dampened growth, and that the Bush tax cuts sparked a wave of rapid job growth from 2001-2010. That, uh, hasn't happened.

Now, it's true that rich people care more about the issue of tax cuts for the rich than anybody else does, and their pressure on key Democrats led the party to agree to an extension of the Bush tax cuts. By "intellectual collapse," Richman means "political collapse." His confusion between the two concepts is telling.