A temporary payroll tax cut was allowed to expire recently, meaning that payroll taxes are now removing an extra 2% from everyone's paychecks. Every corporation in the business of selling things to non-rich Americans is freaking out, because they expect their customers to cut back on spending now. The working class has just seen its take-home pay reduced by 2%; working class people will now have 2% less to spend on food, and clothes, and toilet paper, and everything else. It may be true that letting the payroll tax rise was foolish in the short term. It is definitely true that payroll taxes in general are, as constructed, a bad idea.
Lee Stranahan's post about lefty blogs ignoring the John Edwards affair was apparently the most highly trafficked story on the Huffington Post for at least two days. But when he crossposted the item to his "diary" on Daily Kos, it was suddenly not so popular! Go figure. The "liberal" militants there excoriated Stanahan in the comments, with one well-rated response declaring, "you are violating site standards referencing the Enquirer [and its Edwards coverage], a bannable offense." That's funny, because just a few years ago multiple Kos diarists trumpeted an unflattering Enquirer story about Bush, including one who said, "Sometimes the National Enquirer reports things better than the Washington Post." That person is still active on the site, but Stranahan is not so lucky!
It's certainly the impression you get scanning Daily Kos and Think Progress and even the inestimable Talking Points Memo. Don't you people ever drink or get laid? Barack Obama leads John McCain comfortably in the polls, the immediate legacy of the Bush years lies symbolically somewhere between "The Scream" and the Hindenburg, and American liberalism in general is said to be on a dramatic uptick. So why are liberals still so earnest and dire? Here's a random excerpt from today's Kos:
This week, the New York Times increased its weekday paper's newsstand price to $1.25. (Sunday's paper now goes to $4 from $3.50.) The paper's daily price was 25 cents in 1980, 30 cents in 1982, and 35 cents in 1988—by 1999, the price was 75 cents, and then a dollar in 2002. But how have the paper's price increases kept up with the other costs and benefits of being a liberal? Intern Mary, with some crazy science, breaks down the paper's price versus the stock prices of Volvo and Whole Foods, the yearly number of marijuana related arrests, and the rate of inflation.