PARTY OF THE RICH?….Michael Franc, the Heritage Foundation’s Vice-President for Governmental Affairs, took to the pages of the Financial Times a couple of days ago to warn us that Democrats are becoming the party of the rich. Henry Farrell notes that Franc is, to put it generously, not being reality-based here. All sorts of data (here and here) shows that income is still a pretty good predictor of voting behavior and that the rich still vote for Republicans by a wide margin. In the 2004 election, for example, low-income voters opted for John Kerry by a margin of 63-36; high-income voters were a mirror image, voting for George Bush by a margin of 63-35.
And yet, I come not to bury Franc, but to praise him. Why? Because the hook for his op-ed piece is the observation that Senate Democrats “will not consider a plan to extract billions in extra taxes from mega-millionaire hedge fund managers.” He’s talking about the carried interest loophole here, which allows zillionaire hedge fund managers to pay taxes at half the rate they should. Leaving this loophole in place is disgraceful, and Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for not closing it pronto. Until they do, all I can say to Franc is: go get ’em. Maybe a right-wing hack can shame them into doing what we liberals apparently can’t.