October 20, 2021
Economy

Biden’s economic plan confronts a big hurdle

Beneath the rhetoric about inflation and deficits, business investment and family farms, tax rates and benefit levels lies the volatile question of economic redistribution. Government attempts to do that trigger intense resistance from those asked to pay and amorphous skepticism even from some who would come out ahead.

And whether polling shows the specifics popular or not, redistribution sparks existential dread among lawmakers who fear that voting for it risks their careers.

“It’s very hard to talk about when you get in the room,” said Hank Gutman, who once advised Congress as chief of staff for the Joint Committee on Taxation. “Empirical evidence, sound economic theory — none of that matters.”

Roadblock Republican opposition has become a given. The party has a strong electoral motivation to thwart a Democratic President, an ideological aversion to tax and spending increases, and a…

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