A favored right wing tactic in debate is to simply offer unworkable solutions. So for instance when people in poorer countries suffering under dictatorship rise up the right wing (including Obama) will say something like "Oh yes, we support your end goal of democracy, but now is not the right time. For now let's step back and not rock the boat to much. Work through other channels." You have thousands of people in Tarhir Square right now. You've got to make demands and see them implemented now. If you wait and the combined forces of the people dissipate, change won't come. Stepping down is unworkable if your goal is real change.
You see this in the debate over health care. One workable solution is single payer. It's favored by a large majority of Americans. It's been done in many countries. The right wing will say "Oh yes, I have a problem with our health care system as well. I agree we are on an unsustainable cost path. We should just have a totally free market system." How might we bring that about? There's no clear path. Pursuing that strategy is a recipe for status quo.
My prior post raised the issue of tax hikes on the rich. Debating the merits of it I think is worthwhile. Would it help the economy or not? Reasonable people can disagree. Here's what's not worthwhile in my view. This constant rejoinder from the right wing (watch Neil Cavuto subject Nick Hanauer to it here) that he should just feel free to send additional tax money to Uncle Sam. "Why not just send an additional check to the government?" That's often followed with a shit eating grin. They're so proud of themselves when they say that.
Here's what I would answer if I were Nick Hanauer. BECAUSE IT WOULDN'T WORK. Cavuto already knows that. That's probably why he suggests it.
The problem is poverty, unemployment, the fact that children graduate from college with mountains of debt. If I, Nick Hanauer, sent an extra check to the government, would any of this change?
But Cavuto will reply that it would make a marginal difference. Like maybe it will push a single government program over the line to where it would be permitted, creating the jobs and stimulation that the left craves.
In response I say the following: I admit it. I'm selfish. I don't want to just help one or two people. I get no satisfaction from thinking that maybe an extra bit of stimulus was permitted. Here's what would give me satisfaction. If I saw the unemployment rate drop 3%. If I saw severe poverty return to earlier levels. If I literally could drive around and not see the children of unwed mothers roaming the streets because Mom has to work at Wal-Mart rather than be at home raising her kids. I want a massive reduction in suffering, not a marginal one. If I alone sending a check to Uncle Sam could produce that much good then I'd do it. But I can't. We have to have thousands of others just like me doing the same. It's a workable solution, not a solution that retains large masses of the population in a suffering state. So if being selfish in that way is a vice, so be it.
Does that change the answer to the question of whether taxing the rich more would help the poor? No. Either it helps or doesn't regardless of whether I voluntarily send additional money. If you disagree, fine. We can discuss it. Asking me to first send more won't change the answer to that question.