The birth of a GOP catch-phrase: ‘Trickle-down government’

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

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64 comments Add your comment

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
4:13 pm

I thought it was a great line, fantastic job last night Mitt. Glad you will be in Washington the next four years.

GaBlue

October 4th, 2012
4:18 pm

The GOP would rather the government not trickle into any aspect of our capitalist lives, but rather, get busy trickling into our marriages and wombs with decisions that are not our own. In the name of freedom, of course.

Carol

October 4th, 2012
4:26 pm

Jim
After years of quiet suffering, Republicans are out to send the stream down the other leg.

+++++++
Great statement!

Kris (OBAMA 2012)

October 4th, 2012
4:27 pm

Can mittyy spell tinkle down-government after reading his little tinkle down statement after last night it appears that is all the GOP walked away with…Yeah. the proof is in the tinkle down as smitty and his pet rhynnie will say any thing humm..Still Voting for President OBAMA.

Vote NO in charter schools.

Re-elect President OBAMA.

Rafe Hollister

October 4th, 2012
4:29 pm

Obama has been trickling down on the middle class for 4 years. Higher energy and food costs, less family income, more unemployment, and more debt, it flows down hill.

Rafe Hollister

October 4th, 2012
4:31 pm

Left out higher insurance premiums, the stream is indeed heavy.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
4:39 pm

GaBlue-

Republicans don’t want to “trickling into our marriages and wombs” We were very happy with marriage between a man and a woman and keeping abortion very rare until you libs wanted to change things. We are only trying to do what you have already done, change policy.

Libertarian

October 4th, 2012
4:40 pm

GaBlue,

Economic freedom are social freedom are two different sides of the same coin. That’s what Mitt Romney and Barack Obama don’t understand; limiting one harms the other.

DJ Sniper

October 4th, 2012
4:47 pm

I guess nobody has taken into account the fact that this little thing called a drought is one of the main reasons we have higher food prices.

Retired, why does the GOP tout small government, then turn around and try to legislate the holy hell out of women’s healthcare? I see you brought up the abortion issue. Here’s the best way to sum that up: If abortion is a decision that you would never choose for yourself, then fine, but stop trying to force everybody else to conform to that. Each and every woman should be able to make her own individual decisions about their reproductive healthcare. Tell your GOP bretheren to stay out of it.

honested

October 4th, 2012
4:52 pm

I guess when mitt’s got nothing, he has to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks.

I just hope this one ‘trickles back on him’ in November.

Kris (OBAMA 2012)

October 4th, 2012
4:54 pm

The Big Bird moment just shows how out of touch Romney is . What about the 47% what are we?

GOP wear brown suits so when it tinkles down no one notices but it gives them a warm feeling anyway.

Save Big Bird.. Avoid the warm down feeling…

Re-elect President OBAMA.

honested

October 4th, 2012
4:54 pm

retired,

Did mitt find a job in Washington or will he just be doing photo ops for 10k a pop?

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:00 pm

DJ-

Never heard a republican say a single word about women’s healthcare, or men’s healthcare for that matter. If you are refering to abortion, we are concerned about the baby’s healthcare. Hope that clears it up for you.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:03 pm

honested-

I’ll give you the insude scoop first cause you are a great guy (assumption there). Mitt will be President and everyone said….amen.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:03 pm

GaBlue

October 4th, 2012
5:05 pm

Very disappointed that both candidates ignored the steady assault on women’s rights, funded by small, wealthy right-fringe groups, and implemented bit by bit, year by year, in state legislatures all over the country. Do they think we forgot?

Yeah, keep thinking positive, trogs. Women never fight back, do we? Heh…

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:10 pm

GaBlue-

I hear the term “women’s rights” all the time. Would you define them for me?

cc

October 4th, 2012
5:16 pm

Obama is indeed the void surrounded by the sphincter ani externus muscle.

Vote YES on Charter Schools.

Recall all the criminal democrats.

Throw the communist out by electing President Romney!

Road Scholar

October 4th, 2012
5:22 pm

cc: Does that include all the repubs who were demos? Start with our Governor!

And by supporting state decided charter schools, why are you supporting larger government?

GaBlue

October 4th, 2012
5:22 pm

Retired Soldier,

Easy. Women’s rights should be the same as yours.

DJ Sniper

October 4th, 2012
5:26 pm

CC, there are plenty of criminals in the GOP as well. And please share your proof that Obama is a communist. That bit of fear mongering has been going on since he got elected, yet this country is no closer to communism than it was before Obama.

Retired, please tell me why the right threw a fit when the birth control mandate was announced earlier this year. I’ve never seen so many men act a fool over something that women have been doing for years now. As for abortion, why do so many people on the right think that their view on abortion should apply to everybody else. Every woman’s situation is different, so a one size fits all approach doesn’t work. Again, if abortion isn’t for you or your family, then don’t have one, but stop telling other women what they should do.

DJ Sniper

October 4th, 2012
5:29 pm

As far as the charter school amendment, I find it very disturbing that Sam Olens wants the school boards to cease and desist with their opposition to this. He says it’s because official time and taxpayer dollars were used, but something tells me that if the school board were in favor of it, he would be perfectly fine.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:33 pm

GaBlue-

I agree, so there aren’t women’s rights or men’s rights, just rights held by all people. Then we need to get rid of the sexist terms, men’s and or women’s rights, agreed?

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:36 pm

DJ-

Because of religion DJ, religion. Governement should not force religious institutions to violate their faith.

Abortion- You forgot the third person in the room, the baby. Does the baby get a vote about their life or death?

GaBlue

October 4th, 2012
5:38 pm

Retired Soldier: “Then we need to get rid of the sexist terms, men’s and or women’s rights, agreed?”

Agreed. Just as soon as we get rid of all the sexists.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
5:41 pm

GaBlue-

Then by your definition those who use the term women’s or men’s rights are sexist. I don’t use those terms so I guess I am ok, how about you?

GaBlue

October 4th, 2012
5:50 pm

Retired Soldier,

Nice try, but no. My definition of a sexist is a man such as yourself, who is perfectly fine with lobbyists haunting the hallways of our Capitol, bullying and threatening majority-party legislators that they had BETTER vote “yes” on a bad bill, written by religio-nutcases who never went to medical school, condemned as harmful by practicing physicians, mandating guidelines for how physicians who only treat women are allowed to treat their patients’ medical emergencies, stripping both the practical practice of medicine and personal decisions from what is supposed to be a private conversation/decision between doctor and patient. Give me a holler when you see the same thing happening with laws written by non-urologists about how urologists are allowed to treat your pecker. Thanks.

DJ Sniper

October 4th, 2012
5:55 pm

Retired, that whole argument about religious institutions violating their faith was just another smokescreen for the religious zealots. Recently, a Bush appointed judge rejected a lawsuit brought by a Catholic business regarding the birth control ruling. Here is an excerpt from that ruling:

The burden of which plaintiffs complain is that funds, which plaintiffs will contribute to a group health plan, might, after a series of independent decisions by health care providers and patients covered by [an employer's health] plan, subsidize someone else’s participation in an activity that is condemned by plaintiffs’ religion. . . . [Federal religious freedom law] is a shield, not a sword. It protects individuals from substantial burdens on religious exercise that occur when the government coerces action one’s religion forbids, or forbids action one’s religion requires; it is not a means to force one’s religious practices upon others. [It] does not protect against the slight burden on religious exercise that arises when one’s money circuitously flows to support the conduct of other free-exercise-wielding individuals who hold religious beliefs that differ from one’s own. . . .

[T]he health care plan will offend plaintiffs’ religious beliefs only if an [] employee (or covered family member) makes an independent decision to use the plan to cover counseling related to or the purchase of contraceptives. Already, [plaintiffs] pay salaries to their employees—money the employees may use to purchase contraceptives or to contribute to a religious organization. By comparison, the contribution to a health care plan has no more than a de minimus impact on the plaintiff’s religious beliefs than paying salaries and other benefits to employees.

The fuss about the BC ruling is nothing more than a bunch of religious zealots who feel that they should be able to force their beliefs on to everybody else. Contributing to a health plan that covers BC is not going to violate anybody’s beliefs.

As for abortion, I stand by what I said earlier. Yes, there are going to be times when an abortion is necessary, and that’s something that you and others are going to have to live with. If it were up to people like you, women would be forced to carry out medically complicated pregnancies that could kill them, the baby or both. Also, women would be forced to deliver babies that were conceived as the result of rape.

Buckhead Boy

October 4th, 2012
6:18 pm

“Trickle-down government”? Is that the stage that the charter school movement is at now? And, if you give the Republicans sway, will that become stream-down government like with the private prisons movement, and later flood-down government like with the Defense-contractors?

td

October 4th, 2012
6:35 pm

“Trickle-down government”- Also known as keeping African Americans on the liberal plantation by giving them free stuff or government jobs in return for their continued support of Democrats only. Herman Cain (paraphrase)

Kris (Save Big Bird)

October 4th, 2012
6:44 pm

Gablue….Check this out.

https://waronwomen.com

Back to the tinkle down economics..

How much did smitty SPEND on his zingers…..
What President Obama did not say, it was a debate, not about well crafted zingers
The former and soon to be former candidate reluctance to release more than two years of his income taxes. Democrats have questioned whether Romney – who has a fortune estimated at up to $250 million – is hiding something about his finances and why he keeps millions of dollars in offshore accounts.
President Obama did not mention Romney’s work at Bain Capital, in sending thousands of jobs overseas.

And The most important the 47% of us Romnet calls scum…

Mitty/whinnie come clean on your Tax records

Save Big Bird!
Re-elect president OBAMA

WOW

October 4th, 2012
6:56 pm

Enter your comments here

WOW

October 4th, 2012
6:57 pm

All hail TD the expert on African-Americans….

cc

October 4th, 2012
7:05 pm

“All hail TD the expert on African-Americans….”

Ya better say that with respect, Pilgrim.

cc

October 4th, 2012
7:18 pm

“The former and soon to be former candidate reluctance to release more than two years of his income taxes”

You may just as well get used to saying, “President Romney”.

“Democrats have questioned”

Democrats/Progressives/Socialists/Communists question everything that isn’t ‘steal from the producers and give to the non-producers’, entitlements, anti-religion, pro-abortion, big government control, anti-free speech (if you don’t agree with them), pro-homosexual and pro-Obama. So, what else is new?

“And The most important the 47% of us Romnet calls scum”

Romney NEVER said that, but it is in the nature of dimocrats to lie . . .

“Mitty/whinnie come clean on your Tax records”

President Romney has committed no crime re his taxes, which is a hell of a lot more than can be said of a great many of your messiah’s appointees.

td

October 4th, 2012
8:46 pm

WOW

October 4th, 2012
6:57 pm

All hail TD the expert on African-Americans….

I would love to be able to take credit but it was not this white boy making the statement but rather Herman Cain. I have also heard similar statements from Dr. Thomas Sowell and leading conservative African Americans.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
9:31 pm

GaBlue-

Guess I pushed the wrong button. You have no clue, besides what I write here, what I favor or don’t favor. Your absurd attack simply demonstrates how far out of the main stream you are. I challenge you to find an instance where I have attacked someone like you just did. Sad.

One day maybe you will be able to civilly discuss issues, only then will you have a chance to achieve the goals you seek.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
9:42 pm

DJ-

For every ruling by a judge you agree with I can find 10 that you wouldn’t agree with. The Supreme Court will have the final say. I love that you point out the judge was a Bush appointee. I will give democratic presidents credit, I have never seen a democratic appointed judge turn conservative on the bench. I have seen many republican appointed judges turn liberal.

Abortion- I have never met or heard of anyone that advocates a mother should carry a child that threatens the mothers life. That is a red herring. Forced to carry a baby that might die? What does an abortion do? It assures the baby will die. Red herring number 2. Rape The majority, not all, but the majority of pro lifers, including the national pro life organization, includes an exception for rape and incest. Red Herring number 3.

honested

October 4th, 2012
9:50 pm

It amazes me with all these amateur geniuses on the loose, how did we manage to elect the shrub and push the whole economy into the toilet?

And 8 years later, how did you all suddenly realize the damage and place the blame on the guy hired to clean it up?

So whether it is the sudden blaming of ‘government’ or 30 years of repeatedly trying a failed laffer curve theory in ‘economics’, I’m not willing to let republicans trickle on me any more!

honested

October 4th, 2012
9:52 pm

retired,

You make me glad that when ‘crazy tony’ and uncle tom go out for that very last pork sandwich, that President Obama will be quite ready to nominate replacements, and the Democratic Senate will be more than ready to pass them through with the proper advice and consent.

Retired Soldier

October 4th, 2012
9:53 pm

honestead-

Very simple, Obama said he was going to fix it. He hasn’t, he should go.

honested

October 4th, 2012
9:53 pm

retired,

The law on abortion is clear and has been for over a generation.

Sorry you don’t like it, but it’s not up to you.

Deal with it!

Pat

October 4th, 2012
9:57 pm

Health care or Social Security privatization, faith based initiatives could be seen as trickle down government as that term trickle down government is known. So could stimulus projects.

Whether military contracts might be called trickle down government is debatable in that the military is much like other infrastructure obligations of government that the public expects, not those they do not expect, nor those that are padded to produce excessive spending on the military.

Whether corporate deductions or tax credits might be viewed as trickle down government is certainly something that should be considered trickle down in that they are not at all an obligation of government, but favored by big business as lobbyists might lobby for to save corporations money, or to evade what would otherwise be taxes.

Might then nonprofit and religious tax exemption also be viewed as trickle down government?

Romney and the GOP may well be onto something here as a philosophy to think about unnecessary government spending.

td

October 4th, 2012
10:07 pm

honested

October 4th, 2012
9:50 pm

Are you going on your Chris Matthews or Ed Shultz rant tonight? Did you finally realize that Romney can (in my opinion will) win this election because Obama is really an empty chair that has been propped up by the media, handlers and a teleprompter.

double

October 4th, 2012
10:11 pm

Just when you think all is well,then take a few steps the trickle down occurs.The all is well time represents Clintons years,the trickle down represent the Bush years.Dutasteride represent the Obama years.It takes time to correct all those trickle down years.No fast cure available.

Don't Tread

October 4th, 2012
10:48 pm

0bama didn’t fare well when the questions involved his handling of the issues (debt, economy, taxes, regulations) and he didn’t have anyone to cover for him. (But of course, he assumes he’ll win just because he’s 0bama.) There are many more subjects 0bama doesn’t want brought up regarding the way he’s (badly) run things in the past 4 years, and plenty of mileage left on the above issues.

The bottom line is that Romney has plenty of ammunition left should he decide to use it.

Kris

October 4th, 2012
11:19 pm

While I was on the phone on behalf of a client of A American company who has outsourced their part replacement off shore to the Philippines.Thank YOU Smitty.. I did a little searching and to Illustrate how Out of touch mitty is and since hid favorite phrase is Trickle Down:

The economic theory that if the richest people are made even richer, they will send more money down to the peons. Rightly dismissed by George Bush the Elder as voodoo economics. For some reason, it is seeing a resurgence as Republicans realize, to their delight, that people either don’t remember that it doesn’t work or were too young the first time it screwed up the US economy

Just sayin.

Re-elect President OBAMA.

Double Standard

October 4th, 2012
11:20 pm

Trickle down economics vs Trickle down goverment…………. The only way Americans can win is to behave like foreigners in our own country. Keep your money and resources in your pocket and only spend it if it benefits your family.

Kris

October 4th, 2012
11:28 pm

Don’t Tread

“The bottom line is that Romney has plenty of ammunition left should he decide to use it.”

Well I have a few questions.

A. Does Smitty and his pet rhynnie live in the same America the rest of us do?
B. Has Smitty and his pet rhynnie ever struggled to make ends meet?
C. Does Smitty and his pet rhynnie have a clue what he is talking about?
D. Is Smitty and his pet rhynnie fit to be a garbage collector?
E. Can Smitty and his pet rhynnie tell the difference between Al Qaeda and Ali Baba?
Hint: Ali Baba’s turbine is wound counter clock wise…For the GOP the hands
On the clock turn back wards.
Please answer the following questions using a number two pencil. Be sure to fill in the circles completely:
O (A) is true.
O (A and C are true)
O (B and D are true)
O (D) is true
O (E) None of the above is true
Answer:
(E). is an alien from the planet Kolob (look it up). Former (candidate)/ Romney has essentially unlimited wealth. Former (candidate)/ Governor Romney talks out of both sides of his mouth. Former (candidate)/Governor Romney is unfit to be a dogcatcher. Former (candidate)/Governor Romney believes that Al Qaeda and Ali Baba are first cousins and we should launch cruise missiles and drones against them immediately.

Re-elect President OBAMA.

DeborahinAthens

October 5th, 2012
6:40 am

Retired, when you can give birth, come back and tell me that all men and women should have the same rights. You are a vile piece of work. People like you are why I left the Republican Party. When the religious nut jobs took over I decided I was no longer a Republican. Romney, at one time was a rational moderate because he believed in a woman’s right to choose. I would have voted for that Romey. For the record, I am a mother of two fine young men and the grandmother of four fine children. I never had an abortion, but because of problems my husband had we never would have had ONE child without Planned Parenthood. This is an organization all you rabid Repugs want to eradicate. You make me want to vomit.