Spending cuts for the rich! 

Republican arguments about the budget are about the size of government, Charles Blahous writes, while Democratic arguments are about the distribution of wealth. One side says "shrink government" the other side says "don't help the rich." Blahous sees common ground:

These two messages run along different axes: one being from bigger government to smaller government, the other from rich to poor. This ideological geometry allows for substantive common ground. Specifically, if the two parties agree to cut federal spending (meaning actual outlay spending, as opposed to simply closing tax loopholes) on higher-income Americans, they can simultaneously advance Republican objectives of containing the growth of government, while also advancing the Democratic message of targeting federal resources on those of greatest need – and all while reducing federal deficits.

Blahous suggests means testing Social Security and Medicare: stop making me pay for Warren Buffet's healthcare. I agree. I also have some other ideas of spending for the rich we can cut: namely, corporate welfare.

Combine limited government with a more equitable distribution of wealth? I call it Free-Market Populism.

Ira Stoll, at The Future of Capitalism, is a regular critic of "Reverse Robin Hood," and of corporatism, but he has some well thought-out problems with this idea.

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Timothy P. Carney

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