I have received several comments by email (I wish they would be posted as comments online, you can comment anonymously) that some of my proposal may make sense but are politically not feasible. I think these comments miss the point.
Several of my proposals may indeed be politically difficult: increase gas taxes, impose a congestion charge, scrap agricultural subsidies, and lastly drop deductibility of mortgage interest. But they all make sense (well, at least I think so), and in most cases, once voters understand what is at stake, and what are the consequences, they would go for it. The problem is not the voters, it is the politicians.
Politicians are supposed to represent the preferences of the people who elected them. They are also elected to figure out the law and its consequences. In other terms, voters outsource the hard thinking to politicians that share their preferences. The politicians should thus do their job, and not go the populist way and oversimplify.
Call me an idealist. But if we just give up because something is good but not politically feasible, we cannot improve welfare. Economists have to go out of their way and explain to politicians what policies are good, given preferences.