E.J. Dionne's article this morning points to a central problem facing the Democrats: They seem scared of their own shadow and the Republicans have succeeded in winning the narrative about tax rates and their economic effects.
Here is the problem. Remember "voodoo economics?" That was what George H. W. Bush called the supply-side theories that have come to dominate Republican Party economic thinking. That was 1980. Now, in 2010, no one has seriously challenged the acendency of this point of view. The reason is simple: Democrats hate talking about taxes on the theory that if you go into the ballot box thinking of yourself as a taxpayer, you are going to vote Republican. If you go in the voting boot thinking of yourself as a worker, you are going to vote Democratic. Ergo, Dems should talk about workplace issues and wages and not about taxes. But if you let the other side do all the talking, you can't change the narrative.