December 3, 2012 9:31AM

Framing the Issue: We Need Growth, Not Taxes

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Is Grover Norquist right to warn of a looming tea party backlash?

My response:

Despite the mainstream media’s constant vilification of the Tea Party, especially in contrast with its treatment of the “Occupy” mobs, the movement remains a potent, albeit uneven, force in American politics. It reflects the responsible part of the American electorate, the part that recognizes the gravity of the nation’s economic and moral situation, unlike those Democrats and establishment Republicans for whom power is their only guiding principle.

Dutifully reporting White House talking points, the media that filters our public discourse has portrayed the “fiscal cliff” as a tragedy to be avoided only by raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans, failing which everyone will pay higher taxes, the economy will be plunged into another recession, and the blame will fall squarely on Republicans, the party of the rich, for their obstinate protection of their wealthy benefactors. Our demagogue‐​in‐​chief says it daily — as do some establishment Republicans. It must be true.

Rarely do we hear that the only way we can hope to reverse our economic course — the product of decades of irresponsible politics — is by growing the economy — precisely what raising taxes, especially on the productive class, will undermine. Tea Party folks may have difficulty breaking through the conventional clatter, but they know how to make those Republicans who subscribe to it pay the price.