Progressive populism should be pushed
by Glen Wallace
First, propose lefty programs that would likely have widespread populist appeal — such as a program to eliminate all or nearly all federal income taxes for middle class workers by shifting the burden onto the top one percent along with some more novel sources such as taxing transactions on the Wall Street high frequency trading machines. Then, when Republican’s inevitably block such programs, call them out for standing in the way of programs that would eliminate income taxes for the vast majority of the working public. And when the political right inevitably comes back with a retort that such a shifting of tax burden would stifle growth, have your ideological toolbox ready with responses — in this case, point out how America saw some of its greatest economic growth and prosperity in the 1950’s when the top one percent were taxed very heavily compared to today. Point out how the human drive and motivations that lead to economic growth and innovation are much more complex principles that can’t be reduced to the point where a comparison is made with the way humans relate to money the way lab rats relate to kibble.