Think Progress’s Matt Yglesias seems to be a pretty smart guy. But like lots of smart people, sometimes he’s too smart for his own good – and in this case, everyone else’s too.
Thus, people hear about the idea of cutting the gas tax and they assume 100 percent of the benefit will go to consumers and none to oil companies. But when they hear about taxing “windfall profits” of oil companies, they assume all the burden will be borne by the companies and none by the consumers. That’s not how the world works. But it means you can often take a good idea, and turn it into a more politically palatable one, by messing around with the implementation details to make it seem like a tax on evil corporations rather than a tax on people who buy products from evil corporations.
Most people are stupid. They’re too dumb to realize who really pays taxes. That’s awesome though, because it means we can force taxes onto people and so long as they think businesses are paying them they won’t get angry at us.