Mitt Romney’s campaign is reaching into the congressional Republican rhetorical storage closet to push back against President Obama’s new push to extend the Bush tax cuts on the middle class.
It’s the return of the “job creator.”
“The president’s latest bad idea is to raise taxes on families, job creators and small businesses,” Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul said Monday in a statement dismissing Obama’s new plan for a one-year extension to the Bush-era tax cuts on families making less than $250,000 a year.
This line is standard operating procedure for the GOP when discussing the Bush tax cuts, which Obama has long wanted to roll back for the wealthiest Americans. Congressional Republicans loved to throw “job creator” around during the budget fight of late 2011, arguing that it burdens the people doing the hiring, perpetuating a vicious cycle.
There are rhetorical tricks more grating to progressives and Democrats than “job creator” as a synonym for a rich person. In 2011, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) took the idea to task:
“Republicans seem to be operating under the backwards economic principle that only tax cuts for the richest Americans and biggest corporations are worth fighting for,” she said in a December floor speech. “In fact, they have a name for this group of people: They call them ‘job creators.’ They believe the only ones who create jobs in America are the rich - -and they claim that the tax cuts and loopholes they fight for that benefit the wealthy will somehow trickle down to ordinary families.”
This time around, Romney’s hoping that Democrats won’t speak with one voice. His campaign noted in an email Monday that some moderate Democrats have come out against a straight extension of the middle-class tax cuts, calling for any increase on taxes for the wealthy to be tied to a deficit-reduction plan.
In the past “job creator” is the kind of language that tends to unify Democrats against the GOP. During this election cycle, Romney is banking on the fact that swing-state Democrats won’t want to talk about tax hikes at all — even on the wealthiest — giving the line room to get some traction.