Jonathan Chait replies to my criticisms. He basically seems to me to say:
(1) Like the author of The Party of Death, I am completely confused by why anyone would think this book is a partisan hatchet job.
(2) Low taxes are actually good. I just have a hard time saying that clearly.
(3) George W. Bush’s tax policy made the system less progressive, and ran up the deficit, which is a problem for me for reasons I won’t disclose.
(4) People who wanted to privatize social security are either stupid or lying when they tell you that they would have made it more progressive. I could tell you why, but I won’t.
(5) The state really does own everything, and cutting taxes for the rich really is upward distribution. I have arguments to that effect, but I’d rather not debate it. Instead, I’d rather discuss my book in a way that takes all my wildly contentious normative premises for granted, while still pretending to be a pragmatic empiricist.
Meanwhile, I’ve added a follow-up post on why Chait’s class war thesis really is incredible.