Romney Goes Rogue

I’ve been assuming all year that Mitt Romney would pivot to Obama’s left on economic issues (say, on regulating banks, a higher minimum wage or payroll tax cuts). So I was pretty astonished that he’s somehow managed to move right of Reason Magazine, the National Review and Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform. Who knew this was even possible?

“While conservative activists are circling their wagons around Mitt Romney and encouraging to stand by his claim that the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay federal income taxes are essentially mooching off the government, prominent policy voices on the right are dismayed by his comments — both because they’re inaccurate, and because they cut against fundamental conservative cause.”

On a related topic, I’ve been reading lately about the IMF proposal for a Financial Activities Tax (or “FAT”), basically a variation of the VAT tax that would apply to the financial industry (which is otherwise exempt in existing VAT regimes).

Since unlike the Europeans, we don’t already have a VAT, the easiest way to move to one would be by levying a FAT on th3e entire economy and not just the financial sector (using the revenue to cut other taxes). Essentially it would be a tax on payroll plus a tax on excess profits. In fact, since we already have a payroll tax, it’d make sense to build up from there, converting the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax (FICA) into the Federal Insurance Activities Tax (FIAT).
I just wanted to be the first to go on the record endorsing a Fiat tax on our Fiat money. :o)


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16 Comments on "Romney Goes Rogue"

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4 years 9 months ago

Once he’d locked down the nomination in the spring, Romney was free to stiff his conservative base without consequence (what’s the saying… “we will astonish the world with our ingratitude”).

It didn’t matter how far he moved to the center, the anti-Obama vote would still come out in any event to vote for the Republican ticket. Adding Paul Ryan (and his already notorious budget) ditdn’t add a single new conservative vote but lost a ton of swing voters.
If Romney were running as a moderate Republican, the radio talk sow hosts would be tearing their hair out…. and he’d be up by 10 points.

Detroit Dan, thanks for the kind words.
I don’t have time to write more now but remember that excess profits taxes were enacted in both World Wars and acted as a pretty effective anti-inflation tool (in fact, Vickrey’s gross markups market is simply a cap and trade version of an excess profits tax).

4 years 9 months ago

Likewise…Obama isn’t going to give the congress everyhting THEY want…like repealing the Affordable Care Act.

As far as taxing and spending goes, I expect more of the same….Obama caving in to the Republicans

Cullen Roche
4 years 9 months ago

I’m really stunned by the strategy to move further right. I would have thought they’d stay centered. But they don’t seem to read the polling data too much. Instead, they made the same mistake McCain made and moved further right. Except Romney has moved right of Palin in recent weeks!

It’s gonna be hard to overcome that. And the scary thing is that Congress is not going to let Obama have anything he wants over the next 4 years. Fun times ahead boys and girls!

Detroit Dan
4 years 9 months ago

This is the Beowulf I know and love. Good, out-of-the-box thinking!