Oh, now they tell us. As Republicans lick their political wounds, Democrats bask in the glory of winning what was suppose to be a highly contested election, and Washington is abuzz about the looming fiscal cliff which will plunge millions of Americans into higher taxes, The New York Times’ Jonathan Weisman wrote today that liberals are now seeing some of Romney’s economic agenda as beneficial to the American middle class. You know, the people ‘Rich Mitt’ wanted to destroy.
Now that the partisan posturing can be tamped down a bit in the wake of the election, some Democrats and their boosters in the media are starting to see Republican policies as plausible avenues to help the American people.
Weisman wrote that:
The proposal by Mr. Romney, the Republican presidential nominee, was envisioned to help pay for an across-the-board income tax cut, a move ridiculed by President Obama as window dressing to a “sketchy deal.” But many Democrats now see it as an important element of a potential deficit reduction agreement — and one they can claim to be bipartisan.
The cap — never fully detailed by Mr. Romney — is similar to a longstanding proposal by Mr. Obama to limit income tax deductions to 28 percent, even for affluent households that pay a 35 percent rate. But a firm cap of around $35,000 would hit the affluent even harder than Mr. Obama’s proposal, which has previously gotten nowhere in Congress.
“Let’s just say there’s a renewed interest,” said Senator Kent Conrad, Democrat of North Dakota and chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.
First, we should commend Weisberg on reporting about this 180-degree turn on fiscal policy by some Democrats. It’s a rare event in an area where anything Republican is anathema to liberals.
Of course, this all could be “window dressing” used by liberals to bait Republicans into caving on taxes. Regardless, all of this proves that Mr. Obama’s and the media’s gutting of Mr. Romney as the harbinger of financial ruin to America’s families was patently false. In fact, Weisberg concluded his piece by saying that this proposal is supported by Third Way, a Democratic centrist group, and could raise $1.3 trillion over the next ten years without increasing taxes:
The idea gained currency when Martin Feldstein, a prominent Republican economist and former chairman of Ronald Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, embraced it during the campaign to show that Mr. Romney’s tax plan was not as far-fetched as Democrats portrayed it. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget and something of a ringleader in the search for a bipartisan deficit deal, has also embraced the idea.
But with the presidential campaign over, it is taking on new salience…Third Way has made it the centerpiece of a package of tax changes that it says could raise nearly $1.3 trillion over 10 years without raising rates.
The Third Way proposal would limit tax deductions to $35,000 but would exclude charitable giving. Universities, foundations and other philanthropies have been the biggest impediment to passing Mr. Obama’s more modest 28 percent limit, which did not exclude the charitable tax deduction.
In other words, raising taxes seems to be a choice, rather than necessity that many in the media have told us it is. That's good to know. Don't hold your breath for the broadcast networks to note this, however.