Saturday, November 28, 2009

You Cut Taxes, Remember?

Via Greg Sargent, an excellent example of exactly what I was talking about the other day: Democrats are strangely hesitent to claim credit for a large tax cut, which after all they actually did enact earlier this year as a major part of the stimulus.

The Democrats are taking delight, according to this Politico article, in pointing out the hypocrisy involved in GOP Members of Congress bragging about stimulus dollars back home, despite having opposed the bill that made those dollars possible. Fair enough. But the article, which describes the lines of attack each party is readying for the 2010 elections, says nothing at all about tax cuts. If the Dems want to play gotcha, it seems to me that Republican claims that the stimulus failed are far more vulnerable on the tax issue than on the spending side. After all, odds are that Republicans will run on a tax cut in 2010 -- and so it makes sense, doesn't it, to remind everyone at every possible point that Republicans unanimously (except for Maine) opposed a large tax cut in 2009, and then spent the rest of the year saying (in effect) that tax cuts don't work? Democratic tax cuts, that is?

The usual caveats -- spin only goes so far, etc. etc. But still, if they're spinning, well, they should get it right. If I were advising the Dems, I'd tell them that they want reporters primed to question Republicans about exactly that point all next year -- why should anyone believe that the promised GOP tax cut will work when the actual Democratic tax cut, according to Republicans, didn't work? Does anyone think that reporters are primed to ask that question right now?

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