December 10, 2012

THE NARRATIVE CHANGES AS POLITICS REQUIRE: Opponents of the Bush tax cuts have done a silent flip-flop on whether those cuts helped the middle class. “Why a silent flip-flop, instead of overt? Because the explanation is a bit uncomfortable: calling the Bush cuts ‘tax cuts for the rich’ was a rhetorical goldmine in support of a political message. It was a terse, persuasive slogan, pithier than the truth that the Bush policy was actually progressive tax cuts for all taxpayers; recasting it as ‘tax cuts for the rich’ was therefore more effective at helping the Left win elections. Fair enough; that’s politics. The Left outfoxed its tax-cutting opponents by employing better rhetoric. But now, in late 2012, the political message must shift, because the looming expiration of the Bush tax policy is a real financial threat to the middle class — and therefore a political threat to any politician who fails to defend the middle class.”