By Teresa Welsh |
I would hardly characterize President Barack Obama's proposal as a "gambit." The proposal has been a consistent theme with this administration, which recognizes that Americans want the president to focus on the issues that affect them most—how to create jobs, provide opportunities to advance, and secure a better future for their children.
On Monday, President Obama laid out a vision for the fiscal policies he will pursue to ensure for a better tomorrow—offering additional middle-class tax cuts while asking some to pay a little more. Some might call it risky or foolish to ask to raise taxes during an election, but I believe the American people are often ahead of politicians in understanding what is fair, what works, and want to be offered a choice. For the eight years of "Bushonomics," those in the middle class got a clear picture of what didn't work as they lost their jobs, their incomes shrunk, and their homes were devalued or lost while corporate profits rose and executive pay increased.
In the latest National Journal/United Technologies poll, 60 percent favored extending tax cuts for those making $250,000 and below. They understand that economic growth will not come from more failed trickle-down economic theories, but instead by responsibly balancing the need to cut spending, increase revenue, and make sound investments in our future, especially in areas like education, new market development, and infrastructure.
In contrast, Mitt Romney continues to offer ideas that advance little meaningful change and instead, a return to the failed policies from the past of cutting taxes for those who can most afford them, while exploding the deficit, increasing our future debt obligations, and leaving no means to invest in growth.
The president's proposal, along with an offer to discuss real tax reform after the election, put Republicans back on the defensive and elevated the debate to a referendum for the American voter in November—49 percent of independents in a recent Washington Post poll said the president's vision for the future is more important to them than what he did in his first term. By proactively controlling the debate and focusing the attention on the "do-nothing" Congress and Romney's policies of the past, the president will continue to look like the true leader and that is a winning formula. Focusing on America's future is Obama's strength and greatest political weapon.
About Penny Lee President of Venn Strategies, a Government Relations and Public Affairs firm
Lara Brown Author of 'Jockeying for the American Presidency: The Political Opportunism of Aspirants'
Brad Bannon President of Bannon Communications Research, a Polling and Consulting firm
Matt Mackowiak Republican Consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group