One Pagers

Tax Day Contrast

April 13, 2012 9:20 am ET
As we approach Tax Day and the Senate vote on the Buffett Rule, here's how to talk about what Mitt Romney's tax plan would mean for Americans.


 Why pay more? So Mitt can pay less.

Connect: Americans are fed up with a complicated tax code rigged to favor the wealthiest few, and politicians trying to keep it that way.

Define: Mitt Romney's plan cuts taxes for himself and the rest of the 1%, but he doesn't stop there -- he raises taxes for the families who can least afford it.

Brand it: That's the "Romney Rule": regular Americans pay more so Mitt can pay less.

Illustrate: Romney would hand out even bigger tax giveaways to fellow millionaires living off their wealth, while making millions of working Americans pay more.

Contrast: President Obama's "Buffett Rule" says that in America, Wall Street CEOs and Big Oil executives shouldn't pay lower taxes than secretaries and bus drivers.

Pose the choice: Which America do we want: a nation where millionaires pay lower taxes than the rest of us, or one where everyone pays their fair share?

Words to use: Tax giveaways; Millionaires and billionaires; Richest/Wealthiest 1%
Words to avoid: "Top" 1%

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"...that's crazy. It's time we stopped it."

President Ronald Reagan, describing a tax code that allows millionaires to pay lower taxes than bus drivers.



ATTACK: "In Obama's government-centered society, you need taxes to spread the wealth around."

  • This is about which America we want: a nation where millionaires pay lower taxes than middle-class Americans or one where everyone pays their fair share. It's not even a close call what most Americans would choose.
  • All of America does better when everyone pays their fair share, everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone plays by the same rules.
  • But Romney would make our rigged tax code even worse and make struggling families pay MORE taxes so he and the rest of the 1% can pay LESS.

ATTACK: "The Buffett Rule is class warfare."

  • As Warren Buffett tells it, the only class warfare in America is being waged by his class -- and they're winning.
  • Middle-class families shouldn't have to pay higher taxes than any millionaire. That's not class warfare. That's a basic American value.
  • The President's Buffett Rule proposal is based on that simple principle. President Reagan got it. President Obama gets it. Americans get it. It's time for Republicans in Congress to get it, too.

EXCUSE: "The Buffett Rule isn't worth it because it raises only a pittance amount of money."

  • Republicans are actually attacking the Buffett Rule for raising taxes on millionaires -- but also that it's not going to raise their taxes enough. That's like complaining the food is terrible and they didn't bring you seconds -- they can't make up their mind how to smear it.
  • But that's exactly what we'd expect from the politicians who so easily doubled the national debt and fought for the wasteful tax giveaways behind today's record deficits.
  • The truth is that we can invest in America's future and pay down the debt if millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share. Let's start with the Buffett Rule.

We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.


Posted in - Taxes - Economy - Jobs

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