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

BitterEXdemocrackkk

October 5th, 2012
7:17 am

Planned Parenthood is NOT a Constitutional requirement NOR does it have legal rights to taxpayer money. It should be an autonomous charity, for which those who need it PAY FOR !!!

Debro in Athens…you must have left the Republican Party back in the 80s if it was because of the ‘religious nut jobs’…today’s crowd is timid compared to days of old…strive to be smarter.

honested

October 5th, 2012
8:07 am

bitter,

More timid? No
More rabid? Yes
More disjoint from reality? Obviously
More likely to dissipate into regional (southern) miscreant parties? I’m betting on it.

Whirled Peas

October 5th, 2012
8:29 am

Jim Galloway must be contemplating suicide considering Mitt’s great performance and clear articulation of conservative ideas. Jim wakes up every morning hating conservatives and goes to bed every night hating conservatives. He works for a paper that requires closed mines and empty heads.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
8:46 am

DeborahinAthens-
Want to know the difference between you and me? I don’t think you are vile, you have a different opinion than me but that doesn’t make you vile. Your “beef” is with God not me. I have no control over how human being are created.

What did I write that was vile? That the unborn child is the only person in this ativity that doesn’t have any say? That is true, maybe unimportant to you but true. I suggest maybe a bit of anger management, it must be difficult to go through life angry all the time.

One issue voters. on both sides, have helped create the mess we are in.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
8:48 am

td

October 5th, 2012
9:27 am

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
8:46 am

Very well written and portrays the difference between the radicals on the far left (and even some on the far right) and the rest of the population.

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
9:46 am

Puerile Pedant

October 5th, 2012
9:59 am

Um, I think the GOP supporters on this thread might want to reflect on their party’s platform before claiming that “no one” in the GOP supports banning abortion when the mother’s health is at stake or when the pregnancy is the result of rape.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57497592-503544/republicans-approve-platform-with-strict-anti-abortion-language/

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
10:16 am

PP-

That wasn’t what my comment said, I said no one that I know what to ban abortions if the life of the mother is at risk. You need to re-read my post.

td

October 5th, 2012
10:18 am

63.6% of all people between 16 and 60 are actually working right now. This is the lowest work force labor participation rate this country has seen since Jimmy Carter. When people give up looking for work then the unemployment rate is going to go down.

Rich

October 5th, 2012
10:26 am

It was actually born in Mitch Daniels state of the union rebuttal earlier this year. It’s a meaningless phrase as trickle down theory refers only to tax breaks for businesses.

Marie

October 5th, 2012
1:15 pm

When are politicians going to start taking responsility for their own actions. Of course, this is a flaw in our entire society. I hate the way Republicans use nasty, back stabbing movements to bring down the Democrats! Look how they tried to destroy Bill and Hillary Clinton – at tax payers expense! Now where to you think our children learn to “bully?” Its about time America wakes up to realize we must get all of the political idiots under control before we succumb to distruction of every form.

Steve

October 5th, 2012
1:20 pm

Let’s do some research here. Joe Biden at the House Democrat Retreat in Jan 2012. “We came along and said why not use taxpayers’ money more directly. Was it,George? George Miller, if you are here, you did a hell of a deal. Let’s go give it directly. What was that? That’s trickle down government, man. I am serious! Think about it. Try to be completely logical about their arguments. My recollection is we didn’t get one Republican vote. We may have gotten one or two, because “They’re for free enterprise!!” They’ll spend 60 billion of your money if goes to bank – and there’s nothing wrong with banks. But if putting kids through school means [putting them] through Pell Grants, that’s trickle down government.”

Retired Soldier

October 5th, 2012
1:24 pm

Marie-

Did Clinton lie under oath? Yes or no. End of question.