“Government,” Ronald Reagan said in his first inaugural address as president in 1981, “is not the solution to our problem. Government is the problem.”
President Barack Obama is borrowing the turn on the old political saw about being the solution, not the problem, in a TV ad attacking rival Republican Mitt Romney.
When Romney led Boston-based Bain Capital, the Obama ad says, businesses were shuttered, jobs lost and “Romney made a fortune.”
“Now he wants to bring that business experience to us.”’
“Romney’s not the solution,” the ad concludes. “He’s the problem.”
The problem with the ad is its contention that Romney would hand tax breaks to the wealthy while taxing the middle class harder. It relies, as the Obama campaign has in the past, on a Tax Policy Center report that Romney could not lower tax rates to the extent he proposes, and keep the budget in balance, without taxing the middle class as well.
At the same time, Romney has left himself vulnerable to this sort of criticism by not spelling out which tax exemptions he’d eliminate to pay for his tax cuts.
And that’s a problem, too.