As the U.S. House gears up for a vote on the Bush-era tax cuts, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has launched a new advertising offensive against GOP Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Bucks) and Tim Murphy (R-Allegheny).
In the video, the narrator said both men will vote to extend tax cuts for the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and Medicare recipients.
In a counter-offensive, the National Republican Congressional Committee said that maintaining tax cuts only for the middle class will grind progress almost to a halt and punish everyone economically with fewer jobs and less growth.
Stirring tensions in the class divide, the ad starts with an upbeat tone, the narrator speaking directly to the viewer.
“Good news! Republicans want to cut your taxes,” he says.
But the ad cuts away from a photo of a grocer stocking shelves (“Not you…”) to a man sitting on a golden chair on a manicured lawn in front of a mansion (“You!”).
“And you deserve a tax break,” the narrator says. “After all, these things are expensive.” The ad shows photos of a yacht, a waterfront estate and a private jet.
“So Republicans want to give you, the millionaire, another tax break—all while charging seniors $6,000 more for Medicare.”
The narrator says middle class earners would use a tax break to buy groceries and pay the mortgage, but the millionaires are “going places” and Rep. Fitzpatrick (or Murphy, in the alternate version) will “knock down anyone in your way.”
In an accompanying press release, the DCCC said House Republicans will vote to extend the tax cut of $130,000 for people making more than $1 million a year, “doubling down” on their ideology instead of helping those who need it most.
Two points hit home. The first is that the GOP won’t agree to the Senate version passed last week by the Democratic majority, which would extend the tax cuts for earners making up to $250K. And because they won’t compromise, there will be no extension – and therefore no relief for anyone.
In addition, without the revenue that would be made from taxing only the highest earners, there will be no money to fund programs that benefit the middle class and senior citizens.
Murphy’s Campaign Manager Tyler Foote said the Democrats’ attacks are a distraction from the real issue – that Murphy’s challenger Larry Maggi supports programs that hurt the middle class.
“This cookie cutter attack ad out of Washington is just a smokescreen meant to hide Larry Maggi’s support of the liberal Obama-Pelosi agenda hurting southwestern Pennsylvania families,” he said.
“Congressman Murphy fights for the middle class while Larry Maggi champions Obamacare, tax hikes, bailouts, stimulus spending, the War on Coal, and all the liberal policies that have led to skyrocketing debt and double-digit unemployment.”
Fitzpatrick’s own response to the ad took a line out of the President’s playbook:
“Ernst and Young reported last week that the Democrat’s plan to raise taxes would costs the American worker 710,000 jobs and would be devastating to the economy,” Fitzpatrick told PoliticsPA. “President Obama said two years ago that, ‘The last thing you want to do is raise taxes in the middle of a recession,’ and I agree.”
The NRCC has also jumped on the attacks, launching a counter-offensive of their own to show that Dem policies aren’t “working” – using one of Obama’s recent lines that government has tried both the parties’ plans and this his policies “worked.”
In an email, the NRCC said that more “failed stimulus spending, paid for with job destroying new tax hikes that will make life harder for small businesses” isn’t the answer.
In addition, they have also released press releases that call on Larry Maggi and Kathy Boockvar, Fitzpatrick’s challenger, and asks them to protect jobs.
“Kathy Boockvar,” (or alternatively, Larry Maggi) “has a choice: she can listen to Pennsylvania voters or she can choose to support burdening small business owners with another crushing tax hike in 2013. With news that the U.S. Gross Domestic Product grew at a crippling rate of 1.5 percent, will Boockvar abandon her party’s unpopular, big-government policies in favor of pro-growth ones?…Will Boockvar listen?”
This week’s House vote will be the last chance to send a message to voters that middle class issues matter, with the House going into recess for the rest of August.
Come fall, there will only be seven to eight session days in September and five in October. That leaves almost no time to pass substantial legislation before Americans take to the voting booth in November.
The tax cut has little chance of passage.
This new advertising push is part of the DCCC’s “Drive for 25” to win back the House majority, which began today.