Senate Democrats are circulating a new batch of talking points that take Republicans to task for proposing a slate of tax policies that, according to at least one neutral analysis, could increase the deficit by nearly $4 trillion.
In a memo being dispatched to communications directors and press secretaries, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office accused Republicans of talking a good game on deficits but caring "more about giving tax breaks to millionaires and CEOs who ship American jobs overseas."
The talking points play off of a Washington Post report from Wednesday morning, which noted that Senate Minority Leader's Mitch McConnell's plan for extending the full Bush tax cuts in addition to limiting the reach of the estate and alternative minimum tax, would balloon the deficit. They are pasted below:
REPUBLICAN GIVEAWAYS TO MILLIONAIRES AND CEOS WHO SHIP AMERICAN JOBS OVERSEAS WOULD DOUBLE THE DEFICIT
· Republican tax giveaways for millionaires and CEOs who ship jobs overseas would double the deficit over the next 10 years, and cost more than 4 times the projected impact of health care reform and the Recovery Act combined.
· Even worse, Republicans are holding tax cuts for middle class families and small business hostage in order to secure more deficit-exploding giveaways for millionaires and CEOs who ship American jobs overseas.
* According to CBO, Republicans' millionaire tax giveaways would add almost $4 trillion to the deficit in the next decade, and force us to pay $950 billion in interest to countries like China to whom we already owe billions.
* Democrats believe the middle class and small businesses are the engine of our economy, that is why we want to permanently extend tax cuts for small businesses and the middle class.
* But with millions of Americans still out of work, we cannot afford Republicans' deficit-exploding tax giveaways for millionaires and CEOs who ship American jobs overseas.
· Republicans talk the talk on the deficit, but they clearly care more about giving tax breaks to millionaires and CEOs who ship American jobs overseas.
· Not only is this unfair to hard-working families across the nation, but it is bad economic policy that will hurt our nation and its recovery.
Democrats have been particularly obsessive with drawing attention to the Post story. A tweet drawing eyeballs to the article was made by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Wednesday morning, followed by one from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's Press Secretary Jim Manley. In between, the Democratic National Committee blasted the piece to reporters. The issuance of talking points provides only further indication that the party is hoping to impart the sense that the GOP is either duplicitous or not serious when it comes to pursuing fiscal responsibility.
As one strategist, who was pushing the meme well before the Post picked it up, put it:
"Note that McConnell amazingly endorses the Obama fiscal commission to provide the grist for the most important part of the GOP agenda -- their war on spending. I wonder how that is going to go over with Tea Partiers and [the] GOP base. It is a crazy punt, and he will have to find a new argument soon."
UPDATE: My colleague, Ryan Grim, gets hold of the White House talking points on the same article, making generally the same arguments (though a bit more direct).
Talking Points: Republicans Aren't Serious About the Deficit
· Today¹s Washington Post provides further evidence that the Republican Party, after turning a record surplus under President Clinton into record deficits, still cannot be trusted to come up with a serious solution to control spending and reduce the nation's deficit. Instead, the only thing they¹re willing to offer are the same failed economic policies that created the mess we're in.
· Outlining Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's tax plan, the paper finds that his call to permanently extend the Bush tax cuts for America's millionaires and billionaires would nearly double the projected deficit by adding $4 trillion to it over the next decade. And they¹re pretending that they would pay for it through a projected spending freeze, that fails to mention what they would freeze or cut, and that would only save $300 billion over that same period of time.
· Senator McConnell's apparent solution to our economic challenges is to go back to the same economic policies that created the mess that has weakened the economy and left middle class families hurting: tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires who aren't asking for one. But during these challenging economic times, we simply can't afford to borrow another $700 billion over the next decade to give an average tax cut of $100,000 to Americans making over $1 million per year.
· Looking at a plan similar to Senator McConnell's, the nonpartisan CBO found that it would force the American people to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade, while increasing payments on the national debt by $950 billion. Those numbers have a projected deficit impact that's four times greater than health care reform and the stimulus package combined two proposals the Republican Party fought strongly against because of the supposed long-term damage they would cause to the deficit.
· Unfortunately, this lack of seriousness shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone. If the Republican Party has been clear about anything over the past 19 months, it's that they're far more interested in political games and standing up for big special interests than offering serious solutions to our nation's problems.
· Despite all of their bluster about deficits and out of control spending, it's clear that the Republican Party hasn't changed and still has no viable plan to fix either problem. Senator McConnell's tax plan would only increase our nation's deficit and do absolutely nothing to grow our economy, put people back to work and strengthen America's middle class.
Instead, it would take us back to the same exact failed economic policies that created the mess we're in: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut rules for the special interests and big corporations and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself.
· Are these really the people we want to put in charge of our economy?