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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Saturday, October 18, 2003


Krugman has advice for Dean

posted by Aziz P. at Saturday, October 18, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
Krugman makes a compelling case for only partial repeal of the tax cuts:

Still, those who want to restore fiscal sanity probably need to frame their proposals in a way that neutralizes some of the administration's demagoguery. In particular, they probably shouldn't propose a rollback of all of the Bush tax cuts.

…These middle-class tax cuts were designed to create a "sweet spot" that would allow the administration to point to "typical" families that received big tax cuts...And such families played a big role in selling the overall package.

So if a Democratic candidate proposes a total rollback of the Bush tax cuts, he'll be offering an easy target: administration spokespeople will be able to provide reporters with carefully chosen examples of middle-income families who would lose $1,500 or $2,000 a year from tax-cut repeal. By leaving the child tax credits and the cutout in place while proposing to repeal the rest, contenders will recapture most of the revenue lost because of the tax cuts, while making the job of the administration propagandists that much harder.

…Will someone be able to find the political sweet spot, the combination of fiscal responsibility and electoral smarts that brings the looting to an end? The future of the nation depends on the answer.

Dean has advocated complete repeal, mainly because of his proposals for health care and his assessment of the costs associated with Iraq (fixing Bush's mess is going to take a long time). However, this does put Dean at a rhetorical disadvantage, even with the other Democratic candidates.


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.