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Noah Smith

Do Conservatives Have Any New Ideas?

Tax cuts are the Republicans’ left hook -- the weapon that swept them to glorious victories in the Reagan years. Today, after having been knocked down twice by Obama, the GOP is throwing its roundhouse again and again -- and just not connecting.
Other than sartorial ones, that is.  Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg  
Other than sartorial ones, that is.  Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg  

If you're a boxing fan, you've probably seen a video of Frazier vs. Foreman. It's one of the most one-sided fights in history -- Frazier, who had conquered Muhammad Ali just two years earlier, gets knocked down six times in less than two rounds by the future barbecue-grill merchant. Again and again, Frazier fires his most fearsome weapon -- the famous left hook that had felled Ali. But this time, it wasn't working.

Watching Republicans come up with economic policy ideas reminds me a little of Frazier vs. Foreman. Tax cuts are the Republicans' left hook -- the weapon that swept them to glorious victories in the Ronald Reagan years. Today, after having been knocked down twice by Barack Obama, the GOP is throwing its roundhouse again and again -- and just not connecting.