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The Democratic Strategist

Political Strategy for a Permanent Democratic Majority

Tomasky: Time for Obama to Fight on Taxes

Michael Tomasky makes some important points in his Daily Beast post, “How Obama Should Play Offense on Taxes

I hope that this is the first salvo in what will be an ongoing attempt to focus Americans on the tax choices they face, and to educate people a little bit about how taxes are actually paid in this country. It’s a debate he can win hands down, and one that will only tilt the polls even more in his direction and make Mitt Romney look more plutocratic than he already does. But he needs both more facts and more fire.

Tomasky discusses various earnings scenarios to illustrate the injustice of the current rate structure, and the even worse tax policies being championed by House Republicans. He adds,

…Everybody talks about the billions, and they’re important. But we rarely write and talk about how we actually pay taxes. I submit that doing so illustrates the key substantive points on Obama’s side. First, in moral terms, the current rate structure is grossly inequitable. But second and more important, this is about stimulating the economy.

As for the president’s proposed figure of $250,000 or less for renewed tax cuts,

Extending the tax cuts for the working and middle classes will help stimulate the economy. And this is about the only stimulus we’re likely to get, as we know. As for the upper incomes, the GOP line that this will crush small businesses, trotted out tiresomely by the Romney campaign, is blather. The vast majority of small-business owners don’t have incomes like that and will not be affected by Obama’s proposal.

Tomasky urges the president to press his case with full confidence that his tax plan has the support of working people and the middle class, as a way of making it clear just who Romney and the Republicans are really concerned about:

The House is not even going to have a vote on it. We all know this. So tell the American people that the House is the only thing standing between them and the current, lower tax rates, and that Mitt Romney is on the House’s side, not the American people’s, and for what? For the sake of making sure that people who make $1 million a year get that extra $50,000. That would get people’s attention…

And don’t just flog it; Work it hard and steady. As Tomasky, reiterates, “Facts and fire. That’s what we need to see in the next four months.”

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