He says he doesn’t advocate a dime of further tax cuts for the rich.

Yet he proposes to cut the estate tax.

Which applies only to the rich.

And he doesn’t propose to cut it just a smidgen.

Or even just a skoche.

He proposes to cut it from the current 45% rate to . . .

. . . wait for it . . .


This would add to the deficit and increase wealth inequality – hallmarks of Republican economics ever since Ronald Reagan.

And that’s just a small piece of Mitt Romney’s economic plan. Read the highlights here.


The first comes from me, and it is that you could take the sentences above and merge them all into one block of writing called . . . a paragraph. I know that. I frequently use that device. But sometimes I think you have to talk really slowly, to get people to slow down and pause to consider the enormity of the tiny thing you’re saying. It’s all about selling. To me, it’s a big deal that – at a time of real struggle for the diminished middle class and the poor, and with our Debt through the roof from decades of tax cuts for the rich and wars accompanied by more tax cuts for the rich – the presumptive Republican nominee proposes yet more tax cuts for the rich . . . this one would save even the lowliest billionheir $450 million . . . while saying that he’s not. (That’s what they always say. In Bush’s case the line was that ‘By far the vast majority’ of his tax cuts would go to ‘people at the bottom of the economic ladder.’) I hope it’s not just the Occupy Wall Street crowd who are wising up to this.


The second tip, literally about selling, comes from Marc Acito writing in the just-released 2012 Writer’s Market (‘The Most Trusted Guide To Getting Published’). To interest an editor or agent, he says, you’ve got to have a hook – as they do in the movies. (‘There’s only one problem with the Davis baby,’ ran one of my own favorite tag lines . . . from a 1974 horror movie of the same title I hope never to see . . . ‘It’s ALIVE!‘).

Marc says you need to do this to sell your novel, too.

You can’t launch in with some windy pitch, you’ve got to come up with an irresistible encapsulation (and then launch into your windy pitch).

‘When I pitched my first novel, How I Paid for College,’ he writes [I added the hyperlink], ‘I always started the same way: ‘Embezzlement. Blackmail. Fraud . . . High School.’

And he offers this grabber –

‘A teen runaway kills the first person she encounters, then is pursued by the dead woman’s sister as she teams up with three strangers to kill again.’

– which I’m pretty sure I’ve heard before (‘Recognize it?’ asks Acito. ‘That’s The Wizard of Oz‘), but even if it isn’t original with him (and even though it’s surely not how Baum pitched the manuscript) it bears repeating.


Don’t read this, have someone read it to you: ‘What has two legs and sleeps with cats.’ Give up? Come back tomorrow.


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