Democrats: The Party of Pain and Suffering
Gene Sperling, who works for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, appeared on Fox News' Fox and Friends this morning to spin for the flailing Barack Obama, who, as everyone knows, hawked tax increases in his nationally televised speech last night.
Sperling gave the Fox and Friends' hosts the Democrat's standard refrain in hard times: There's a crying need for "shared sacrifice." Yes, all Americans need to put their shoulders to the wheel and push. The Democrats have fed Americans this line ever since Jimmy Carter's failed presidency.
But let's interpret what Sperling and the Democrats mean by "shared sacrifice." Translation: "Let's spread the pain and suffering around with a decided tilt toward taxpayers. There will be some spending cuts, but not many, really. Instead, we Democrats will claim that the rich will have to bear the greater burdens by paying more taxes. After all, the rich have benefited more in life's game.
Just between us Democrats and you, we know there aren't enough rich to bilk to raise the taxes needed to meet the obligations of Mr. Obama's gargantuan outlays and spending schemes. So, inevitably, just about every American who earns a paycheck or buys anything will have to pony-up. Of course, we Democrats won't hang a lantern on that fact; let's just say that's our quadruple-secret locked in a vault deep in the ground at Area 51."
Now, any common sense American knows that tax hikes in the middle of a stubborn recession are yet other ways to broadly share sacrifice, albeit in ways not intended by ideologically-blinkered Democrats. Tax hikes of any sort will just further depress the economy. Businesses will be even more hesitant to invest and hire; some may even scale back their operations. Jobless claims will rise. Yep, shared sacrifice.
Republicans gearing up to hit campaign trails may want to test the line that their Democrat rivals belong to the Party of Pain and Suffering. Of course, that means that Republicans will need the intestinal fortitude to make the assertion. Democrats are likely to fire back that mean old Republicans want to cut vital government services. That line makes many Republicans tremble.
But Republicans should remember that most voters want to jettison ObamaCare; they're unhappy with Uncle Sam's spending, borrowing, and debt. Most voters want jobs and a greater sense of job security. They want businesses to flourish. And more and more voters are savvy to the Democrats' sleight-of-hand claim that all Democrats want to do is tax the rich.
Mr. Obama is teeing up the GOP to be the Party of Big Ideas in 2012 - if only Republicans have the guts to seize the moment. The national government needs to be fundamentally restructured and downsized. The private sector, states, and localities need the larger roles in citizens' lives (with an emphasis on the private sector). Transitional - or bridge - strategies need to be promoted that would move Americans away from big government to personal empowerment opportunities.
Let the Democrats hawk "shared sacrifice" and be the Party of Pain and Suffering. The GOP needs to be a party of freedom, reform, and economic growth.
That's the ticket for winning elections and long term governance.