“Party Of Ideas” now on day 4 of talking abt feeble budget gimmick that’ll never pass

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As a famous man once said, “If you don’t have a record to run on, then you paint your opponent as someone people should run from. You make a big election about small things.” Doesn’t get any smaller than this, but at least they’re getting closer to admitting the true purposes of the Buffett Rule. One, of course, is to have a bludgeon handy against mega-millionaire Mitt Romney and the other is to start shaping public perceptions ahead of the coming death struggle over the Bush tax cuts. Biden tied both of those up in a tidy package today by introducing — wait for it — the “Romney Rule,” shorthand for Romney’s nefarious plan to encourage growth by keeping the tax burden on job creators relatively low. It’ll work like a charm on the left, but as liberal Michael Tomasky notes, it ain’t the left they need to worry about in November:

More problematically, I wonder if it’s good politics. As I said, the base loves it. But beyond that, I suspect its appeal is limited. This may well be for bad reasons—that is, Americans have had it so pounded into them over the last 30 years that anything like this constitutes “class warfare” that they may just reflexively jump to that conclusion. That’s a shame, and it’s very much worth trying to alter that viewpoint in the long term. In the short term, though, Obama needs to get himself reelected, which probably means that he needs to win independent voters by something like the eight points he won them by last time—or at least by five or six. And “higher taxes for the rich” isn’t going to motivate many swing voters.

I point again to the new poll (pdf) from Third Way of 1,000 independent voters from 12 swing states. I certainly don’t agree with Third Way about everything, but here I think their general pessimism about the old-time liberal religion is warranted. They asked a few questions in this poll that I haven’t seen asked before, and it’s worth noting them.

If you open the above pdf, go look especially at questions 29, 30, 36, and 37. To me, 36B is the most telling. Would you be more likely to vote, the survey asked, for a candidate who said we should help the middle class by stressing growth and opportunity, or by making sure the rich paid their fair share of taxes. The former won by 76 to 20 percent. Other answers indicate that respondents don’t mind the rich paying higher taxes, and even generally back the idea. It’s just not very interesting to them. They’re far more interested in growth than fairness.

Take five minutes to scroll through that Third Way poll that he links. Lot of awkward stares being exchanged in Chicago over this data set, I’ll bet:

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Curt served in the Marine Corps for four years and has been a law enforcement officer in Los Angeles for the last 24 years.

2 Responses to ““Party Of Ideas” now on day 4 of talking abt feeble budget gimmick that’ll never pass”

  1. 1

    Nan G

    The Buffett Rule exposes at least two major fallacies in Obama’s reasonings…..

    This is not the chart I was looking for but it makes the same point.
    The Buffett Rule makes no dent in our gov’t’s spending problem.

    The Buffett Rule is simple divisive politics.
    Us VS Them.
    Obama is well aware that he has added millions to the federal trough through failed economic policies.

    His other major fallacy in this regard is that ”the pie” is static and so that if ”the rich” get some then ”the poor” get less.
    The pie is NOT static.
    Our economy, under good stewardship, can grow.

  2. 2


    @Nan G:

    Those two major fallacies that you point out can be expanded on, Nan.

    Let’s assume that Obama’s idea of a “static pie” is correct. Then let’s assume the “Buffet rule” is put in place. $31 Billion. But that money doesn’t go straight to the “bottom 50%”, or the “99%ers”. No, using Obama’s own track record, that money goes for these;
    -Increased IRS and SEC personnel to enforce the “Buffet rule”.
    -Green energy boondoggles like Solyndra, that enrich not the workers, and the country in general, but create more “1%ers”.
    -“Loans” to foreign entities for them to develop their own oil and gas industries.
    -More parties and get-togethers at the WH, using such well-known racist and sexist “stars” as Common and Ceelo.
    -Money paid towards the added interest on the debt from $1 Trillion plus deficits.
    -Buying up more private and state lands, placing more and more land under federal control.
    -Increasing federal funding to such things as the NEA.

    By no means is this a complete list, but you won’t find anything on the list that actually transfers the money from the “haves” to the “have-nots”. From the 1%ers to the 99%ers.

    Which leads to the only logical conclusion about the “Buffet rule”. That is, that it’s just a tactic, being used by the left, in their class-warfare game, to divide the public to better control them. Pure political BS.

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