by Max Brantley
When it comes to taxes, their core issue, the noisy, epithet-yelling mobsters of the tea parties don't know what they're talking about. Surprise.
Bruce Bartlett, nobody's liberal, writing in "capitalist tool" Forbes, explains. He writes about a survey of demonstrators. A clip:
In short, no matter how one slices the data, the Tea Party crowd appears to believe that federal taxes are very considerably higher than they actually are, whether referring to total taxes as a share of GDP or in terms of the taxes paid by a typical family.
Tea Partyers also seem to have a very distorted view of the direction of federal taxes. They were asked whether they are higher, lower or the same as when Barack Obama was inaugurated last year. More than two-thirds thought that taxes are higher today, and only 4% thought they were lower; the rest said they are the same.
As noted earlier, federal taxes are very considerably lower by every measure since Obama became president. And given the economic circumstances, it's hard to imagine that a tax increase would have been enacted last year. In fact, 40% of Obama's stimulus package involved tax cuts.