An editorial in the New York Times (“Surely They Can Read a Spreadsheet“) appeals to Big Business — and Small Business, for that matter — to support raising tax revenues. It would be not just the responsible thing to do; it would be in their own fiscal interest.
“A responsible argument by business for a balanced approach to reviving the economy and reducing the deficit could change the debate in Washington,” the editorial says. Maybe.
Corporate leaders may love their Republican allies, but do they love the GOP more than their own profits? Is the business community willing to gamble its earnings on the preferences of a radicalized party that nearly pushed the nation into voluntary default, even when private-sector leaders begged them not to play the game?
Private-sector leaders did speak out on the default, and while the establishment Republicans probably listened, the Tea Party element did not. My sense of things is that the baggers, in and out of office, are beyond worrying about the real effects of baggerism on the economy.
It’s a bit like Rick Perry’s weird defense of abstinence education. In the bagger mind, the inherent virtue they perceive in the “cuts only” approach outweighs any empirical evidence that it doesn’t actually work. So they are perfectly capable of seeing themselves as pro-business even as they ignore what business actually thinks about anything.
For a variation on this phenomenon, see Faux Nooz’s re-casting of Warren Buffett as a socialist after the billionaire’s call for higher taxes. That Buffett was arguing for the best policies to stimulate the economy — and thereby his own fiscal interests — flew right over their heads.
On the other hand, Steve M. argues that business isn’t hurting nearly enough to pry it loose from demands for tax cuts and deregulation.