Barack Obama has been getting plenty of advice since that debate in Denver. Here’s mine, prior to tomorrow on Long Island. “Follow the money”. It’s an old maxim of journalism and it rarely leads you wrong.
Most basically, this is a variation on the adage that “if you’re not playing offense, you’re playing defense.” By zeroing in on money — who makes it now, who doesn’t, and where and how the Romney-Ryan money “plan” (sic) shifts any of those equations — is unquestionably the best line of attack on the Republicans’ central thesis. Which is: that they are better stewards of the economy than any liberal at any time and especially Barack Obama.
While Joe Biden played offense better than the boss, in his debate with Paul Ryan, it was still exasperating to watch Ryan’s treadworn assertion that he was bringing “new ideas” to the table pass without a well-deserved smile, guffaw or spit-take. While moderator Martha Raddatz did at least press Ryan on whether he “actually had a plan”, the better response for Biden, and Obama tomorrow is to slap down the gauzy wall of “technic-y” sounding econo-babble, serious-sounding but vacuous noise designed to impress and amaze everyone who needs a graph to calculate their savings at a 50% off sale. The reality is that Ryan-speak is eye-rolling, used car lot chicanery to everyone who finally wised up to the reality that the Bush tax cuts, themselves a repeat of deficit-busting Reaganomics, did nothing for job creation or the wealth enhancement of the middle class.
And the Reagan-W* economic “miracle” (god help you if you’re not a hedge fund partner) is all the Romney-Ryan (or Ryan-to-Romney) money scheme is, buffed up by a P90X work-out and no shortage of narcissistic delusion.
Point being, there is nothing older than a strategy to control government built around guarding the access and assets of the already enfranchised.
Obama is also encouraged to display exasperation with the patently and demonstrably false assertions that:
“The stimulus failed.”
“Obamacare will add trillions to the deficit“.
“Green pork [renewable energy] is a worse bet than established energy conglomerates with more lobbying power.”
“Eliminating the Bush tax cuts for the top-tier is harmful (primarily) to small businesses.”
“Bain Capital created jobs and is therefore a model for the economy as a whole.”
… and on and on, with particular, disdainful emphasis reserved for the biggest canard of all, namely that the Bush tax cuts created jobs the last time we tried this same, very old idea.
Philosophically — the tone Obama enjoys most — the argument can be reduced to this:
“Despite all their hyperventilating about government spending and debt, neither the Governor or his running mate, who is supposed to be the braintrust of their economic thinking, can actually show how this grand scheme of their’s either reduces debt, most which was created after the Bush tax cuts of 2003, or avoids further penalizing the middle class. If they could don’t you think they’d take advantage of a TV audience of 70 million to make certain everyone understood what they were selling? But they can’t because what they’re selling has no intellectual basis other than as a sales pitch for your vote.
“And you know, I was very impressed with the Governor’s famous “47%” speech to those wealthy donors down in Florida. I thought it was remarkably candid of him, and I congratulate him for that refreshing breath of honesty. But what he should have reminded those millionaires and billionaires is that they too are “dependent on government” in that so much of their wealth is built on controlling how government responds to their needs, how it does or doesn’t tax them, how they gain unique access to government for lucrative contracts and so on. The Governor’s friends very much depend on government to keep them as wealthy as the are.
“Fundamentally every election, especially presidential elections, come down to who government is going to serve most — who is gets to be most “dependent”on government decisions. My argument is that the economy will fare best if the middle-class, the “customer class” has wealth restored that has drained away in the past generation. More customers will create more jobs faster than more tax cuts for a leverage buy out partner already living like king thanks to a 15% tax rate.”
It really is that simple.