Nothing gets Mitt Romney more animated on the campaign trail than inveighing against President Obama’s penchant for wealth-redistribution. The president wants to “substitute envy for ambition and poison the American spirit by pitting one American against another and engaging in class warfare,” as Romney put it earlier this week in Des Moines. But as the non-partisan Tax Policy Center reported yesterday, the former Massachusetts governor is waging his own brand of class warfare. Romney’s plan would save a middle-income American about $1,400 a year—and lighten a 1 percenter's tax load by $171,000. It would also add $600 billion to the deficit in 2015. (Among those benefiting from Romneynomics would, of course, be Romney; his net worth is estimated at $250 million, making him one of the 3,140 richest people in America—part of the 0.001 percent.) The Economist calls Romney’s plan “very progressive, by 15th-century standards.” But if you ask a lot of conservatives, Romney’s plans are the next worst thing to Obama’s. Ex-Reagan official Peter Ferrara writes in Forbes that with Romney proposing tax cuts for middle-income Americans, he’s engaging in “Obama neo-socialist class rhetoric.” In The Wall Street Journal, columnist Kimberley Strassel takes Romney to task today for merely saying that he opposes “tax cuts for the rich.” No matter his actual proposal to cut rich people’s, she says, Romney is “playing the class game.”
So They Say
Daily Meme: Vetting Santorum
- The hospital chain he served as a director has been dogged by abuse allegations.
- In 2006, he was ranked as one of the three most corrupt members of the Senate.
- He’s haunted by his 18-point loss in 2006.
- He has decried JFK’s call for separating religion and politics.
- He founded a charity and a PAC that diverted most of their money to questionable purposes.
What We're Writing
- In New Hampshire, Rick Santorum gets questioned by 9/12ers, who make him sound like a moderate.
- In South Carolina, Mitt Romney woos the folks—awkwardly.
What We're Reading
- Did Santorum actually win Iowa?
- The Boston Globe endorses Jon Huntsman for “vision and national unity.”
- Romney spent $75 per vote in Iowa; Santorum spent $10; Rick Perry spent $219.
- With unemployment declining, could the economy actually save Obama?
Polls of the Day
- A Suffolk University tracking poll taken January 4 and 5 shows Santorum climbing in New Hampshire—from 3 to 11 percent—and Huntsman, who’s staked his campaign on a good showing in the state, stagnant at 8 percent. Romney still leads comfortably, with 40 percent.
- Meanwhile in South Carolina, Rasmussen finds that Santorum has risen to a close second place behind Romney, 27 to 24.