A: Something The New Republic agrees with.
Want an example? This morning, Timothy Noah posted this on his blog:
Take a look at the following statement:
"Permanently raising the federal tax rate by one percentage point for those in the top income tax bracket would increase federal tax revenue over the next 10 years."
This is a bit like saying if you jump into a swimming pool you'll get wet. When researchers at the University of Chicago's Booth School of Business and Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management presented this statement to a "panel of distinguished economists," 100 percent of them agreed with it. But when the researchers presented this statement to the general public only 66 percent of respondents agreed with it. Only fifty percent of Republicans agreed with it, compared to 80 percent of Democrats. "This difference exists in spite of the fact that this statement is factual, not political," the researchers observed. "Indeed, all economists, regardless of their political orientation, agree with it." Well, all economists except for Arthur Laffer, keeper of the supply-side flame.
Why does the public resist believing a statement that is factually true? ...When one hundred percent of economists agree on something, it doesn't become a fact. More importantly, if this is a fact, that would mean government revenues would maximize when the tax rate is 100%. How many economists believe that? Does The New Republic believe that?
I don't know what tax rate would maximize government revenues. I believe it would not be a rate of either 0% or 100%. So, it has to be somewhere in between. Therefore, there are scenarios where raising the tax rate would result in a decrease in government revenues. Consequently, at this moment in time, whether or not raising the tax rate 1% would result in an increase in revenues is an opinion. If 100% of economists agree with that opinion, it is still an opinion. It hasn't become a fact.
The gap between left and right, not to mention the elite and public, continues to grow. Not only can't we agree on the facts, we can't agree what facts are.