October 13, 2006


GOP focuses on taxes again (Ralph Z. Hallow, 10/13/06, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

Republicans grinned from ear to ear last month when the ranking Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, New York Rep. Charles B. Rangel, just about guaranteed tax increases if his party takes over the House after Nov. 7. Asked whether Democrats would consider raising taxes across the whole spectrum of income, Mr. Rangel said, "No question about it." [...]

Mr. Rangel's remarks, however, have helped focus attention on taxes -- long a signature issue for the Republican Party, but one that Republican pollsters say wasn't polling well until recently.

The comeback of the tax issue is timely for Republicans, who have found their advantage slipping on other key issues. Newsweek magazine reported earlier this month that for the first time since 2001 its poll "shows that more Americans trust the Democrats than the GOP on moral values and the war on terror."

In several competitive congressional races, Republican campaigns have shifted away from a strong emphasis on national security and have begun hammering Democrats as the party of higher taxes -- as Mr. Bush did this week in Georgia.

"Next month, our nation has to make a choice: Do we keep taxes low so you can keep our economy growing? Or do we let the Democrats in Washington raise taxes and hurt the growth of the economy?" the president said while campaigning for Mr. Collins.

"The decision you make in the voting booth will have a direct impact on your bottom line," Mr. Bush told Georgia Republicans.

Republicans say the threat of Democrats taking over Congress has helped boost the issue.

"The tax issue wasn't working for us before because the economy was good, Bush and the Republican Congress had already slashed taxes, and people were focused on other things," Mr. Keene said. "Now, with only weeks before the election, people are being told this election is not about putting money in their pockets through tax cuts but about Democrats taking money out of people's pockets by raising taxes if they get to run the show."

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 13, 2006 10:12 AM

Anybody who uses a Newsweek poll as the basis for an article should lose their writing credentials.

Posted by: AWW at October 13, 2006 10:39 AM