Smart Republicans know their agenda is a tough sell. But if Stupid Democrats are loud enough, they may convince Stupid Republicans that it is in their interest to support the elimination of the deduction. "Eliminate the state and local income tax deduction? Sure! It's a tax on blue states!"
As usual, a Smart Republican's best salesperson is a Stupid Democrat.
- A Smart Democrat characterizes a bad policy as bad for America - and for as many Americans as possible. Thus a Smart Democrat would not characterize this policy as bad for the 20 states that supported Kerry, but as bad for the 43 states and many more localities that support an income tax.
- A Smart Democrat places a bad policy in the context of other bad policies. Thus a Smart Democrat would place this policy in the context of Bush's tax agenda, which generally lowers taxes on wealth and raises taxes on work; for example, a Smart Democrat might note that Bush is willing to raise taxes on the income of working Americans, but not on inheritances of wealthy Americans.
- A Smart Democrat puts Republicans on the defensive. Thus a Smart Democrat would demand that Republicans from states, counties, and cities that support income taxes, especially those Republicans up for re-election, either defend or denounce the policy. For example, what does Mike DeWine think of Bush's plan to raise taxes on Ohio's workers by almost $9 billion? What does George Allen think of Bush's plan to raise taxes on Virginia's workers by almost $6 billion?
Here, as elsewhere, the Republicans have cut taxes on the rich, and they expect the rest of us to pay the price. Smart Democrats see it for what it is, and they won't let Republicans get away with it.