Nobody likes paying taxes, and no doubt some Americans are as angry about their taxes as Tinsley’s imaginary character. But most Americans also care a lot about the things taxes pay for. All politicians say they’re for public education; almost all of them also say they support a strong national defense, maintaining Social Security and, if anything, expanding the coverage of Medicare. When the ”guy on the news” asks whether we can afford a tax cut, he’s asking whether, after yet another tax cut goes through, there will be enough money to pay for those things. And the answer is no.
But it’s very difficult to get that answer across in modern American politics, which has been dominated for 25 years by a crusade against taxes.