This morning, I heard a representative of the medical-device industry talking about how it's a bad idea to tax the people who contribute by devising and producing these devices, and I realized that we have ceded much of the debate over taxes and public policy by failing to ask the right questions.
One of those questions is this: Who should pay the taxes? That's what Mitt Rmoney and Mitch McConnell and John Boehner and Paul Ryan should be asked: Who should pay the taxes?
Yes, yes, gentlemen, we know that you want to reduce the size of government and the overall tax burden (and we'll ignore for the moment that your budget proposals won't do that), but there will still be taxes to pay. So, who should pay them? How much of the taxes--however much they amount to--should be paid by the top 1% of income recipients? The top 10%? The top 20%? The bottom 20%? Should some taxes be levied by wealth rather than just income? Or by some other measure?
Let's hear the answers to those questions, and then we can judge whether you are serious and what your policy proposals will mean for the American people.