In other words, “we’ll cut your taxes now so we can kill Medicare and Social Security later.” And some voters will fall for it:
The group of policy analysts and writers known as reform conservatives talks about something called libertarian populism. Some elected officials have also nodded in this direction. Senator Marco Rubio of Florida recently spoke, in decidedly un-Republican language, about “the rising struggles of our working-class families.”
A new Republican economic approach could still revolve around cutting taxes, but the cuts would no longer be focused on the affluent. “I would expect to see a marriage of sorts between shrinking government and helping the middle class,” said Michael R. Strain of the American Enterprise Institute. Specifically, several conservatives, including Conn Carroll ofTownhall.com and Timothy P. Carney of The Washington Examiner, have called for a cut in the payroll tax, which helps pay for Medicare and Social Security. Though it receives less attention, 63 percent of taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than income taxes.