Another Take

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January 5, 2009 10:30 a.m.

From TPM Reader JZ (not that one) …

I thought I’d point something out about the tax cut that hasn’t cropped up yet.

Recall that Obama promised a tax cut for working-class and middle-class taxpayers during the campaign. It was his way of stopping the Reps on the issue. Then the Tax Policy Center (IIRC) came out with their analysis showing that the Obama plan would give more relief to middle-income taxpayers and lower. It seemed to me that this was an effective way of blunting GOP criticism on the issue–although perhaps in this election cycle it wouldn’t have matter anyway.

But now it seems to me that Obama needs to follow through on this promise. Part of the whole GOP branding exercise has been to label the Dems as Those Who Will Raise Your Taxes. It’s nonsense, but it has sometimes been effective. If Obama didn’t come through with it, then it would be playing into the Reps hands “don’t believe the Democrats–remember the Obama tax cut that he promised?” It hurt Clinton in 1993 and 1994, although of course other things did, too.

So one could read this just as a way of fulfilling a campaign promise–one that is also important in realigning the electorate.

At least that’s the hypothesis.

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