Obama Invokes Bush’s Wars, Romney’s Tax Cuts as More of Same

Photograph by Charles Dharapak/AP Photo

President Bush, right, is followed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, left, and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, center, prior to making a statement to reporters at Al-Asad Airbase in Anbar province, Iraq, in this 2007 file photo.

President Barack Obama has talked about the mess he inherited.

Now he’s talking about that mess in the context of the candidate who wants to replace him as president:

“You watched and worried — two wars, tax cuts for millionaires, debt piled up,” Obama’s latest campaign ad says, alluding to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that former President George W. Bush waged off-budget with flashes of that “shock and awe” over Baghdad, the Bush-era tax cuts and the impact of all that on a deepening federal deficit Obama found at inauguration.

Now comes Mitt Romney, Obama’s campaign warns: “Now we face a choice.”

More tax cuts for millionaires, the campaign’s ad says of Romney’s plans, increased military spending, “adding trillions to the deficit.”

It offers Obama’s plan: “A balanced plan,” with $4 trillion in deficit reduction and millionaires paying their “fair share.”

All this overlooks the fact that Romney wants to offset his tax cuts — continuing Bush-era tax relief for all while cutting all tax brackets by by another 25 percent — with the elimination of unspecified tax exemptions as a balancer.

And it overlooks the fact that the spending-cuts and tax-boosting that Obama has proposed (eliminating the Bush tax cuts for households earning more than $250,000) shaves the deficit over a decade but does not eliminate it — and requires a Republican-run House to go along with the taxes in it.

The implicit message of the theme the Obama campaign promotes in this ad — “Forward” — is that siding with Romney is going backward – to Bush. Yet, given the makeup of Congress, and the likelihood of Republicans holding on in November, it’s questionable how far forward the president can take his own plans with re-election.

 

 

 

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