Imagine that an economist comes up with a mechanism that, if Congress would pass the necessary legislation and the president sign it, would have the effect of doubling everyone’s real, take-home income. But there’s a catch. While the mechanism would double the incomes of everyone earning less than $100,000, it would triple the incomes of those earning more than $100,000, and quintuple the spendable incomes of those earning over $1,000,000.
Would liberal congress members vote against such a bill? They would certainly be tempted to, at least based on their rhetoric that income inequality is a pernicious evil that must be reduced. But how would they explain their vote to a constituent who’s a high school teacher taking home that $50,000, and who has a son who needs serious orthodontia not covered by insurance, is driving a 9-year-old car, and whose 40-year-old roof needs to replaced? They couldn’t, and unless they were bent on committing political suicide, they wouldn’t try.