Tax day plus 1

So, I meant to have a post yesterday linking to a terrific Dave Leonhardt on all the misleading spin out there on who pays taxes and also to link to a terrific John Stewart video that takes on this idiocy.  I'm late, and Jon Chait already did both in a single post– just go there.  He's also got the best takedown I've read of some poor, opressed, financial adviser who had an Op-Ed in the WSJ yesterday. 

Can they take back a PhD?

Great column by AEI’s Norm Ornstein (the only non-hack at the place, now that they fired Frum).  Directly takes on the idiotic charges from the left about Obama the totalitarian socialist.  Some good bits:

These are not isolated comments; the terms “radical,” “socialist” and even “totalitarian” are bandied about frequently by Obama opponents, including congressional and other GOP leaders.

To one outside the partisan and ideological wars, charges of radicalism, socialism, retreat and surrender are, frankly, bizarre. The Democrats’ health-reform plan includes no public option and relies on managed
competition through exchanges set up much like those for federal  employees. The individual mandate in the plan sprang from a Heritage Foundation idea that was endorsed years ago by a range of conservatives
and provided the backbone of the Massachusetts plan that was crafted and, until recently, heartily defended by Mitt Romney. It would be fair to describe the new act as Romneycare crossed with the
managed-competition bill proposed in 1994 by Republican Sens. John Chafee, David Durenberger, Charles Grassley and Bob Dole — in other words, as a moderate Republican plan.

Terrific conclusion:

Looking at the range of Obama domestic and foreign policies, and his agency and diplomatic appointments, my conclusion is clear: This president is a mainstream, pragmatic moderate, operating in the center of American politics [emphasis mine]; center-left, perhaps, but not left of center. The most radical president in American history? Does Newt Gingrich, a PhD in history, really believe that [expletive]?

Gingrich has gotten so much damn mileage out of his former life as a History PhD and professor at University of West Georgia into fooling non-intellectuals that he is an intellectual.  If PhD’s could be rescinded, Gingrich should be at the front of the line. What a maroon.

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