The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, headed by Chris Van Hollen, will start pumping new robocalls later today into the districts of a dozen House Republicans, attacking them for voting against the economic recovery plan and reminding voters that it was supported by business groups.
The calls also hit the Republicans for voting “against the largest tax cut in history,” a reference to the tax cuts in the bill that the GOPers opposed, and an early clue to an attack line the Dems will be using in the run-up to the 2010 midterm elections.
CNN, which has the full list of the targeted GOP lawmakers, adds that this new initiative will include robocalls, emails, and text messages, “directly to targeted Republicans’ constituents.”
It strikes me as a fairly compelling talking point. It may seem unusual, but it turns out that President Obama proposed and passed one of the largest tax cuts in American history — $282 billion over two years — without Republican support. Just as importantly, unlike other recent tax cuts, this one was targeted specifically at working and middle class families. When the DCCC accuses GOP lawmakers of rejecting “the largest tax cut in history,” it has the benefit of being true.
But it’s also an argument with political risks. Brian Beutler noted last week, “The government’s eventually going to have to raise taxes to pay for all this…. Democrats will almost certainly be the ones to do this and there’s no reason they should be sabotaging public support for those increases years in advance.”
It’s a good point. The more Democrats fuel Tax Cut Mania, the more, shall we say, awkward it will be when the party pushes through a tax increase. As far as the politics are concerned, though, it’s likely to come down to who’s affected most — Obama just cut taxes on work and middle class Americans, but he’s also poised to call for raising taxes on those earning more than $250,000 a year.
It is exactly what the president told voters he’d do during the campaign, and it’s the kind of dynamic that offers at least some cover to the party come election time. Democrats in Congress seeking re-election will vote for Obama’s plan to raise taxes on those making more than a quarter-million, but they’ll also tell voters, “I voted for the biggest middle-class tax cut in American history.”