In the days before Wednesday’s presidential debate, word was out that Mitt Romney had filled his quiver with a number of zingers that he’d used to get under President Barack Obama’s skin.
That didn’t turn out to be the case.
Instead, Romney unveiled an impressive instance of semantic jujitsu. For years, Republicans have been plagued by the name attached to their insistence that tax cuts for high-earners benefit those below: “Trickle-down economics.”
It carries, if you’ll pardon the expression, an unpleasant, urinary implication.
But at his first opportunity last night, Romney turned the phrase on its head:
The president has a view very similar to the view he had when he ran four years, that a bigger government, spending more, taxing more, regulating more — if you will, trickle-down government — would work.
The GOP candidate repeated the phrase several times during the debate. This morning, before leaving Colorado, Romney took a victory lap with a semi-impromptu appearance at a local CPAC gathering:
In a span of seven minutes, Romney unlimbered “trickle-down government” nine times – the sign of a message that’s been well-vetted by focus groups:
”I saw the president’s vision as trickle-down government, and I don’t think that’s what America believes in….We have very two different courses for America – trickle-down government or prosperity through freedom. And trickle-down government that the president proposes is one where he will raise taxes on small business….
“We’re going to have a stronger America with more jobs, rising incomes, moderated prices – that’s a very different path than one with trickle-down government…Under trickle-down government, you have the president saying – well, you remember in his last campaign, that under his policies of energy, that prices of energy would necessarily skyrocket…
“The Congressional Budget Office says that by the end of a four-year period, if he were to be re-elected, trickle-down government would lead to a setting where we would have $20 trillion in debt…Trickle-down government will not create the jobs Americans need. Trickle-down government will not bring down the cost of energy. Trickle-down government will not allow incomes to rise…”
After years of quiet suffering, Republicans are out to send the stream down the other leg.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider