We all know it's coming... Time to get on the ball and put out the effective meme before the cacophony overwhelms common sense (it may be too late!)
Time to pinhole the SOB's and hit 'em with some ree-al-ih-tee!
THE TAX CUTS FOR THE RICH MUST GO And even beyond that... they must pay more. This country has been on a joy ride for 30 years, financed with the sweat of the middle to lower class.
The Republicans have walked themselves out onto a limb. CUT THE DEFICIT! That's all you hear these days. Good news is... there's a great way to lower the deficit, and it gives Dems a great opportunity to take it to the GOP. If you can't look at this chart and see a political opportunity as a Democrat, you should reconsider your chosen profession.
Just to be clear... I'm not advocating dialing back the tax cuts for the Middle Class. I say you need to wait until the second term for that because by then you'll have better idea of the true deficit picture. In fact, it is very important that every call to repeal tax cuts for the rich be followed by a declaration of support for middle & lower class tax cuts, lest the messenger be painted with a broad "tax raising" brush by the GOP (it'll happen anyway but at least you'll have the competing message out there as a rebuttal).
The bottom line is that structural deficits are an important issue that must be dealt with. But most Republicans are using the notion of deficits for political gain and nothing else. The tax cuts are contributing far more to the deficit than non-mandatory, non-defense discretionary spending. Any politician truly interested in lowering the deficit has to examine these tax cuts and determine if keeping them is more valuable than repealing them. The obvious answer is that after eight years of Bush, the verdict is in. Stagnant wages for most Americans during that period capped with a horrible recession make it clear that tax cuts are not a panacea.
The other nice thing about the repeal strategy is that it reinforces message discipline. These guys over here want to go back to the policies that got us into this mess (tax cuts). We want to try the opposite (repeal). It worked during the 90's. A Democratic President pushed through a modest tax increase (36-39% at the top I think) and the country experienced a fairly well-distributed period of growth. Time to get back to that kind of policy!
The temptation by some will be to abandon principle by caving to the "never raise tax cuts during a recession" meme. Two answers to this... First, the recession is over. The economy is growing, albeit slowly. Second, the folks who would be affected are doing just fine. Just find your favorite villainous CEO and say: That guy is going to have to pay more taxes. I doubt most reasonable people would disagree with that.