Why are liberals winning the culture wars and losing the tax battle?

An obvious guess is that these positions correspond with the world view of the entertainment industry. Whether it is gay rights, sexual permissiveness or just-say-yes attitudes on recreational drugs, Hollywood has long been at the barricades. But since the days of “Norma Rae” (1979), few movies or TV series have taken a definitive position on the class struggle. My hunch is that a poll of Hollywood would find about 98 percent support for gay marriage but a self-interested majority would object to higher taxes on those earning more than $250,000 per year.

Not many high-priced Washington lobbyists and lawyers get entangled with social issues, since these are not the kind of causes that pay the rent on K Street. When they do get involved out of conviction – such as conservative attorney Ted Olson and liberal lawyer David Boies (the two principal litigators in Bush v. Gore) challenging the California gay marriage ban – it is usually on the socially permissive side of the ledger. In contrast, Washington lobbyists are paid to be fierce battlers in favor of lower tax rates for their clients, a major factor in tilting the congressional tax debate in the conservative direction.

Maybe it all comes down to the simple answer that the American people are, at their core, libertarians — suspicious of both the taxman and the government’s attempts to regulate social behavior.

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