Bloggers split on Palin effect, and health care taxes:

This week's National Journal poll of political bloggers asked "On balance, would Sarah Palin be more of an asset or a liability in campaigning for Republicans in competitive 2010 races?" On the Right, 62% thought she would be an asset, while only 13% of the Left did. I thought that she would, and wrote: "Presumably she will focus her efforts in races where she would be a net plus. I don't think we will see her campaigning for R's in Manhattan or Hollywood."

The other question was "Name and rank the two most politically risky ways to amend the tax code to pay for health care reform." The choices were: Limit the tax break on itemized deductions, Limit the tax benefit for "Cadillac" employer-sponsored health plans, Limit the tax benefit for wealthy individuals with employer-sponsored health plans, Increase income taxes on the wealthy, and Tax sugary drinks.

On the Left, the leading choices were limiting itemized deductions, and taxing full-featured health care plans. But the only choice that went over 50% (with first and second choices combined) was "none," which was a write-in vote.

On the Right, taxes on itemized deductions and sugar both got over 50%. I thought that the sugar tax and the marginal income tax rate increase would be most politically dangerous. I explained: "The sugar tax would be well-known by even most Americans who are not politically engaged as an example of intrusive nannyism. It would be a net plus in, at most, a few very health-conscious places. It would also cause trouble in the farm belt. Raising taxes on the most productive people will not only make many of them irate, it will significantly harm the economy, and reduce job creation and opportunity for everyone except government employees."