Sunday, December 30, 2012
I was in elective office in 2001 when the Bush tax cuts were first proposed and then passed, so I was regularly involved in discussions about them. Opponents described them as 'tax cuts for the rich' as if only the so-called 'rich' were going to benefit.
That the cuts were across the board, applying to all income levels, was conveniently forgotten and ignored by the media and those on the left who didn't want any tax cuts at all.
Then along came 2003 when the cuts came up for revision/renewal. Again the Democrats demonized them as only 'for the rich' and the media went happily along with the distortion.
Looking back now - and even at the time - it was plainly evident that the Republicans clearly lost the PR battle, since nearly everyone still thinks the tax cuts were just 'for the rich.'
They then became an issue in the 2004 presidential campaign. Being a county commissioner, I was a local spokesman for the Bush campaign and faced an uphill battle explaining the facts of the tax cuts: they applied to everyone and not just the rich and anyone opposing them was against cuts for poor and middle-class families.
But the accepted spin about the cuts being 'for the rich' was too ingrained in the public psyche, though Democratic candidate John Kerry did take to describing his plan as 'repealing the tax cuts for those making $200,000 or more.'
Sadly, many thought he was just re-defining the definition of 'rich' - not that any tax cuts had been given to poor and middle-class families in the first place.
Now it's 2012 and those tax cuts 'for the rich' are set to expire and everyone in D.C. is scrambling to preserve the cuts for the poor and middle class.
How do you preserve cuts for the poor and middle-class if they were never part of the deal in the first place?
Clearly, they were.
Even President Barack Obama admitted the truth - though not outright.
So today media outlets and politicians who decried the cuts a decade ago are conveniently ignoring their prior descriptions and eagerly supporting what they ardently opposed.
Is it any wonder we no longer trust the media to give us the truth?