If you want to grapple with something that bothers me about political conservatism in the economic sphere, it is what seems to me to be a commitment to the trickle-down thesis. The idea is that lowering the tax burden on the higher economic levels will stimulate the economy in general, create jobs, and benefit the people down the scale. I think this is the heart of what the Republicans are using Joe the Plumber to illustrate. Joe himself probably won't be harmed by the Obama tax plan, quite the reverse. However, if he were to get into a position where his profits exceeded $250,000, then the tax plan would increase his taxes (though, I'm told, by just 3%). However, this might cripple his ability to employ Jack the Plumber, Bill the Plumber, and Suzanne the Plumber (let's not be sexist now).
But does it work that way? In particular, does anything trickle down in America when a large corporation goes multinational, and finds labor in Mexico, China, and elsewhere, countries unfettered by American labor laws?
I tried to research the argument that Thomas Sowell had made that it is a mistake to hold that conservatives subscribe to trickle-down economics; that the term itself is a straw man. Offhand, I don't see why it's a straw man.
Ross Perot said "Trickle-down didn't trickle." Where is that guy now that we need him?