Homer Gets a Tax Cut
Nick Anderson Editorial Cartoon © 2003 Nick Anderson. All rights
reserved. Used with the permission of Nick Anderson and the Washington
Post Writers Group in conjunction with the Cartoonist Group.
THE PORTRAIT OF public opinion presented in chapter 5 provides several impressive-looking grounds for optimism regarding the politics of inequality. Most Americans express strong support for egalitarian values; they feel warmer toward middle-class and poor people than toward rich people and business people; and they think the rich should bear a larger share of the tax burden. In light of these views, a naive observer might expect the growing economic inequality documented in chapter 1 to provoke a substantial popular backlash, impelling elected officials to engage in aggressive redistribution, raising taxes on the wealthy and investing heavily in programs enhancing human capital and bolstering economic opportunity for the middle and lower classes.
Far from it. Indeed, quite to the contrary, the most significant domestic policy initiative of the past decade has been a massive government-engineered transfer of additional wealth from the lower and middle classes to the rich in