The specifics of a libertarian populist agenda are often lacking, but advocates sometimes point to to things like Rand Paul’s budget plan. This is a plan that calls for flat taxes, cutting discretionary spending through a balanced budget and removing the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate to promote low inflation and high employment.

This brings to mind Eugene Mirman’s joke about bears, where he notes that the common notion that you should play dead if you see a bear “is a rumor that bears spread.” Similarly, the idea that reducing the tax burden on the rich while calling for tighter money and deregulation counts as “populism” sure seems like a rumor spread by the 1 percent.

As Ross Douthat notes, this is an approach that deserves to lose given the economic realities facing the working class. From the voter’s perspective, one immediate problem is that libertarian populism looks less like a genuinely new agenda and more like a fresh marketing spin on the GOP’s current platform favoring “job creators.”…

And if the libertarian populist agenda calls for more “creative destruction” in the economy, the wholesale stripping of social insurance programs is a major step back in providing security and flexibility to vulnerable workers.