I think my beloved beach shack may be washing away as I type this but there’s nothing I can do about that and, truth be told, I’d rather lose the house than the Supreme Court. So (hoping you, too, are warm, dry, and safe) here goes:
WE’RE GOING TO WIN
Obama backers should find these early indicators from Field Director Jeremy Bird encouraging.
BECAUSE . . .
This time, we’re not gonna fall for it.
The last time a Harvard-MBA-’75-former-governor-son-of-a-prominent-Republican ran for president promising A HUGE TAX CUT THAT WOULD NEITHER ADVANTAGE THE RICH NOR EXPLODE THE DEFICIT, we got President Bush, whose huge tax tax wildly advantaged the rich and exploded the deficit. (I wasn’t keen on his humble foreign policy, either.)
Now another Harvard-MBA-’75-former-governor-son-of-a-prominent-Republican asks for our vote promising A HUGE TAX CUT THAT WOULD NEITHER ADVANTAGE THE RICH NOR EXPLODE THE DEFICIT — and I believe fewer are of us are going to buy it. (Or be thrilled that 17 of his 24 foreign policy advisers were recruited from the Bush team.)
The truth is, you can’t fail to advantage the ultra-rich when you cut their estate tax from 45% to zero.
You can’t fail to advantage the ultra-rich when you cut their tax rate by 20%.
And you can’t fail to explode the deficit when you cut taxes by nearly $5 trillion over ten years and ramp up military spending by a further $2 trillion.
The idea that you can offset that $7 trillion by cutting loopholes and deductions is just silly.
Not to mention that cutting the mortgage deduction would tank the real estate market, while cutting the charitable deduction would devastate non-profits. (And by the way? The ultra-rich don’t even bother with mortgages — why would they? It’s the middle class and upper middle class that do.)
You obviously can’t offset a $2 trillion hike in military spending by cutting Big Bird and Planned Parenthood, either; yet these are the only two programs Mitt has named. And every time someone asks whether he’d cut something else — education? veterans’ benefits? benefits for current seniors? — he quickly takes those off the table.
It’s so ridiculous, the only reason I think he gets away with it with almost half the electorate is that no one can imagine an emperor literally walking around without clothes. What emperor would do that?
We can’t imagine that guys like George W. Bush or Mitt Romney — guys who went to Harvard Business School for crying out loud! — would tell us something so massively bogus. Would fail so massively to make their numbers add up.
As for the magic of “growth” that’s supposed to make all this work — cut taxes for the rich and economic growth will explode — who you gonna believe? Mitt Romney (who’s looks so much like a President, for Pete’s sake)? Or our real-life experience of the last 10 years, when that exact approach failed spectacularly?
On the flip side, the Republicans warn that raising taxes on the best off will cost jobs. They say it with such conviction and authority you’d surely buy it . . . were it not that Bill Clinton did it in 1993 — without the support of a single Republican — and produced 23 million new jobs and a balanced budget.
Sure don’t want that again, says the emperor with no clothes.
And because we’ve added only 5 million private sector jobs over the past 31 months since the Bush near-Depression bottomed out . . . (everyone wishes the recovery had been more vigorous, and it would have been if the Republicans had not worked so hard to stunt it) . . . and because we’d love to believe Gov. Romney really does have some sort of magic jobs wand (who doesn’t love a magic wand?) . . . a lot of voters who can’t imagine that an emperor really would walk around with no clothes suspend disbelief and applaud. Never mind that with the same magic wand as Governor of Massachusetts Mr. Romney took the state from 37th in job creation down to 47th — near dead last — and left office with a 34% approval rating.
(Yes, he left the state with the highest math and English test scores in the nation, but he fails to mention that this was the result of his predecessor’s reforms. And he fails to mention that he left the incoming governor with a $1 billion deficit — and the citizens of Massachusetts with the highest per capita debt in the nation.)
Mitt’s magic wand at the Winter Olympics? The magic came in negotiating the largest federal taxpayer bailout ever — larger than all previous U.S. federal Olympic subsidies combined. How’s that for the magic of private enterprise?
The emperor is very bright, very confident, very rich, and very ambitious — I’m pretty sure he doesn’t much care either way about most of the issues he flips and flops on, he just wants to be president — and I have no doubt he can be a gracious, generous, caring person. But he has no clothes. His tax plan is even more spectacularly irresponsible than Bush’s was. And this time — I hope, I hope, I hope — we won’t fall for it.