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Political Death And Taxes

And yet, Romney, the candidate with the most executive experience, is fated to wake up one morning and realize that he just ran the worst campaign since Phil Gramm’s.  Romney will have spent $100 million or more wrecking his reputation! That takes work. It is all worthy of a Harvard Business Review analysis someday. ~Rich Karlgaard

Karlgaard also makes the right point about Huckabee and the Fair Tax, and the same one I was making earlier:

His Fair Tax would devastate lots of small businesses, such as retail stores, restaurants and realties.

This is frankly why I don’t understand how Karlgaard can also say that Huckabee has “boxed himself in with his populism.”  If anything, he has boxed himself in with his advocacy for a crazy tax plan that hurts small business and middle-class households, but he seems to be persuading middle and lower-middle class voters that he is “one of them,” even when his policies do not benefit them.  It is Thompsonesque phony populism at its best, and it seems to be working.  Granted, he makes a lot of noise about being against Wall Street, but where is the evidence is that he is?  It seems to me that if corporate Republicans could get someone who promised to get rid of corporate and capital gains taxes in exchange for calling them names once in a while, they would take him.  The crucial flaw in Karlgaard’s analysis is the assumption that most voters will understand that his tax plan harms small businesses.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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