President Obama’s senior staff laid out his proposal to control the federal deficit while creating jobs Sunday night. The plan claims to cut more than 4 trillion over the next decade, largely from a $1.5 trillion increase in taxes targeting the wealthy. The rhetorical touchstone, referred to repeatedly by the staff in their background briefing was the phrase “fair share,” which they say is what the rich should pay by having their tax rate the same or higher than middle income Americans.
The GOP pounced, arguing that a massive tax hike on anyone would kill jobs and stunt the recovery. Wisconsin GOP Congressman Paul Ryan said the Obama plan would produce less investment and less job creation by taxing those with the resources to power a recovery. “If you tax something more, Chris, you get less of it,” Ryan told Fox’s Chris Wallace on Sunday. (See “Top 10 Government Showdowns.”)
And then he broke out the GOP’s own rhetorical touchstone for the debate: class warfare. “Class warfare, Chris, may make for really good politics, but it makes for rotten conomics.”
Who wins politically in a battle between “fair share” and “class warfare”?