President Obama's staff is signaling that tax increases on upper income earners are going to be a key component of the plan he lays out tomorrow to balance the federal budget -- I suspect all that means is that he won't support re-upping the Bush tax cuts yet again. And as you'd expect, as makes perfect sense to do, every Republican leadership office is now sending out press release after press release saying in various ways, "No Obama Tax Increase!"
For all conservatives and for a lot of independents and a decent amount of Democrats, that brings things into focus. Who wants their taxes raised? I don't. Any conversation about taxes only makes sense when placed against a larger context.
Do you want to raise taxes to close the deficit or abolish Medicare?
Which is what the Republicans want: the electorate split over the responsible thing to do as it would pit older Americans versus younger ones, while the Republicans can come in with their snake oil and say "Not only will we not raise taxes on you, we'll do so by giving you the freedom of health care choice when you're older!"
The freedom to pay two or three times what Medicare costs now in order to get less coverage, that is. But tax cuts for the wealthy, so that's okay!
Look, I appreciate what Josh is saying, but the message of "Republicans are going to destroy Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security" beats "But they're going to raise taxes!" And hey Josh, let's not forget that you aren't exactly totally unable to affect how the message goes out, with your decent-sized DC news blog/site either.