As with many of Mr. Trump’s policy ideas, confusion seems to be keeping interested parties from knowing exactly how to respond. In an interview with Fox News last week, Mr. Trump said a flat tax would be a viable improvement to America’s tax system. Moments later, he suggested that a flat tax would be unfair because the rich would be taxed at the same rate as the poor.
“The one problem I have with the flat tax is that rich people are paying the same as people that are making very little money,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think there should be a graduation of some kind.”Does this man understand that a flat tax means one that's not progressive? That a tax code can't be both at the same time? The most charitable construction I can put on this is that he'd like the code to be pretty flat until you get to the super-rich, then do a hockey-stick. Unfortunately, top-heavy tax structures are notoriously unstable, yielding high revenues in good times and dropping sharply in bad times, as California is discovering. Sometimes sticking it to rich people, no matter how satisfying, doesn't yield economic prosperity for the rest of us.
More discouraging political news: poll respondents' answers vary considerably depending on whether a question reads "Public Figure X supports policy ABC, do you agree?" or "Public Figure Y supports policy ABC, do you agree?" In particular, you can get quite different results on issues like affirmative action and the Iran deal depending on whether you insert "President Obama" or "Donald Trump." Sadly, you can get different results even if you insert a fictitious "policy ABC," such as "Should we repeal the Public Affairs Act of 1975?" You can get a good chunk of people to guess what's in such an Act, which doesn't exist.
Maybe I'm weird: I decide whether I can stomach someone like Donald Trump on the basis of what policies I think he'll support, not vice versa. His tax views aren't helping. He sure can get attention, though, which is something. He went on Twitter the other day to call Anthony Wiener a "purve sleazeball," which makes up in vivid accuracy what it lacks in propriety. Along those lines, I find a sneaking admiration for Sidney Blumenthal's powers of expression in calling John Boehner "louche, alcoholic, lazy, and without any commitment to any principle." Like RedState, I had to look up louche, a word I've been hearing all my life without attaching any very specific meaning to it: it means discreditable, disgraceful, dishonorable, ignominious, infamous, disreputable, notorious, opprobrious, shady, shameful, shoddy, shy, or unrespectable, though literally "cross-eyed" or "squinty."
H/t my morning's email from Jim Geraghty, which I don't know how to link.