After discussing the pick of Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney's running mate and whether or not the columns at either the Wall Street Journal or the National Review might have pushed Romney into choosing Ryan or not, host John Roberts asks Bill Kristol about the likely attacks coming against Ryan from Democrats. And even Bill Kristol had to wonder if Republicans are going to be able to defend the tax cuts for the wealthy.
KRISTOL: I think taxes are the tougher attack ads. They combined, obviously, they're cutting Medicare. Why do they have to cut Medicare and gut education and do all these other horrible things when they insist on giving those tax cuts to the wealthy. But actually, if you look at polling, it's a pretty close call. People do know that entitlements have to be reformed. Even President Obama has said so. Hasn't done much about it. I think Republicans can pretty easily, honestly hold their own on that.
It's the tax cuts for the wealthy where Republicans have not done a particularly good job of defending it and I think you'll see the Democratic attacks really focus on that side of the equation.
ROBERTS: Steve Moore?
MOORE: Well, Bill is right. We know, we've known this for two years that the Democratic attack line would be we're going to cut entitlements and give tax cuts to the rich, because that's what the Democrats always do. Bill what I think is really exciting about having Paul on the ticket now is, who's better to defend those policies than Paul is and he knows this stuff better than anyone.
As the Think Progress post linked above noted:
Paul Ryan’s infamous budget — which Romney embraced — replaces “the current tax structure with two brackets — 25 percent and 10 percent — and cut the top rate from 35 percent.” Federal tax collections would fall “by about $4.5 trillion over the next decade” as a result. To avoid increasing the national debt, the budget proposes massive cuts in social programs and “special-interest loopholes and tax shelters that litter the code.”
But 62 percent of the savings would come from programs that benefit the lower- and middle-classes, who would also experience a tax increase. That’s because while Ryan “would extend the Bush tax cuts, which are due to expire at the end of this year, he would not extend President Obama’s tax cuts for those with the lowest incomes, which will expire at the same time.” Households “earning more than $1 million a year, meanwhile, could see a net tax cut of about $300,000 annually.”
Later in the segment Moore called anyone who dares to point out that Republicans want to do exactly that, gut our social safety nets while giving tax cuts to their rich friends, running on the politics of fear and envy. You hear that all you lazy moochers out there? You're just jealous of those job-creating achievers.... yeah, that's the ticket.