President Obama’s State of the Union proposal to increase taxes is the Democrats’ opening salvo in the 2016 election. The plan, as usual, is to pit the Republicans and the wealthy against the Democrats and the majority of the American people. Republicans should come back with a legislative riposte to put the Democrats on the defensive. Obama’s tax increases are terrible economics, but unfortunately the economic argument tends to be a losing argument that makes Republicans unfairly look like stooges for plutocrats.
Republicans should skip the whole argument about the problems with Obama’s tax increase proposal. If the president wants to claim he supports tax cuts for the middle class then Republicans should call his bluff. Pair the president’s tax increases on a dollar for dollar basis with a repeal of the Obamacare mandate and the tax that accompanies it for people who don’t have health insurance. There are some other Obamacare related taxes in there that could be slated for repeal too.
Make Obama face a difficult choice; either give up a beloved tax increase on the wealthy or gut Obamacare. Either way Republicans win and, more importantly, we’ll win politically by denying the Democrats an easy talking point about Republicans being the party of the rich. The Democrats are charlatans; its time to start calling their bluff.