Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Liberal Spin Fail

OK, once again I don't understand the Democrats. This time, it's on the recovery plan and their inept spin on it. And no, I'm not talking about the screw ups with the jobs reports. If I were advising Democrats, I'd tell them:

Stop whining about conservative spin that the stimulus plan didn't work, and start spinning back.


By first and foremost remembering that the stimulus plan contained Massive Tax Cuts. Republicans certainly have every right to oppose the spending portions of the stimulus bill, and to ignore mainstream economists who say that it's working just fine, but I have no idea under what theory Republicans could possibly justify saying that a $288B tax cut won't help the economy, or that the $84B in tax cuts so far aren't working.

Of course, Republicans are free to make that claim anyway, but Democrats are nuts not to call them on it. Democrats should be pounding on it every day: Democrats cut people's taxes, and the Republicans seem to think it's a bad idea. Republicans apparently think only Republican tax cuts help the economy. If Republicans believe that the stimulus has failed, why don't Republicans think that tax cuts work? Why are Republicans for raising people's taxes?

(Frankly, I'd hit on the deficit thing, too. Republicans only care about the deficit -- Democrats care about people. That's why Democrats cut people's taxes. Republicans only seem to care Washington's budget; Democrats care about people, and that's why Democrats cut taxes, so that people could balance their own budgets. YMMV).

I'd love to see some polling about what has happened to taxes so far this year. The Dems seem to be doing a pretty good job of calling attention to the spending side of the stimulus, but not nearly as good a job on the other portions of the stimulus, which after all were probably put in there for political reasons as much as for economic reasons.

Democrats: you passed a major tax cut. Republicans opposed it, and claim it isn't working. Shouldn't that be a major talking point?


  1. I agree that Dems should sell the tax cuts in the stimulus more but I doubt it would make much of a difference. Unemployment is over 10% right now so I don't see why President Obama's key economic policy to combat it should be popular with the public. I am a big supported of the stimulus but I can't think of a reason it would poll well in this environment.

  2. To expand a bit, any spin the Dems make is along the lines of it would have been worse and that is just not an argument that works all that well. The Dems should keep making it but it's not gonna get any traction until we see unemployment start to improve some.

  3. Fair points. I don't want to oversell; I don't think that anything magical would happen if Dems did a better job of spinning, and I agree that unemployment is going to drive the president's numbers, not spin. Still, even if it's on the margins, I think Dems are missing a rhetorical opportunity.


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