On Thursday, the website The Polling Report tweeted a new CNN poll picking apart Republicans: "Do Republican proposals to cut spending apply fairly to all groups in society, or do they unfairly favor some groups more than others?" The result: 68 percent "unfairly favor," and 29 percent "apply fairly."
Couldn't this just as easily be asked of President Obama at this point? (The questions were asked April 9 and 10, before Obama's budget-outline address.) Does the Obama budget plan unfairly favor some groups more than others? CNN hasn't asked yet. On one level, the answers are obvious: Obama favors raising the tax burden on the rich, and Republicans favor tax cuts for the rich. The political word in here is "fair."
The Paul Ryan proposal reduces the tax rate for the rich, but also eliminates loopholes (as does the proposal of Obama's deficit commission). The poll is too quick and dirty to wonder if it's "fair" to raise taxes to 80 or 90 percent, if "fairness" was defined merely as redistributing wealth.