Sometimes the obvious stops being elusive even to a liberal.
For most of the young millennium, use of the term "Bush tax cuts" by anyone left of center has more often than not been accompanied by the words "for the rich." The pair have been joined at the hip so often that a Google search for them yields more than 5 million hits. (audio clips after page break)
You may have noticed an odd thing during the preceding lame-duck Congress when President Obama and congressional Democrats agreed to extend Bush tax policies they'd spent years vilifying. Whereupon it became known by its streamlined version, the "Bush tax cuts," previously cited only by conservatives.
Now that we're having the same argument again, at least one prominent left winger has taken a curious position. Here's Ed Schultz on his radio show yesterday talking with John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation (audio) --
SCHULTZ: We have railed on the Bush tax cuts for years, we liberals, have we not?
NICHOLS: Even before they were put in. (laughs)
SCHULTZ: Yeah, yeah. And there were predictions that this wasn't going to work and it actually didn't because we didn't have the job creation.
NICHOLS: Uh huh.
SCHULTZ: And then of course we had the recession, we gotta spend a boatload of money to get out of that. But now we're at a point, well you know, we better really embrace these Bush policies because we're concerned about the economy. I mean, that's really what President Obama has on the table.
NICHOLS: Essentially it is.
Schultz doubled down minutes later while boasting that no one else shares his keen insight (audio) --
Well, this is where we are. The Obama team is willing to accept 98 percent of Bush policy. I mean, it hasn't been phrased that way anywhere else. No one else is reporting it that way, but that's really the way it is, that they're willing to accept 98 percent of Bush policy to try to keep this economy going. They gotta have revenue from the top 2 percent and the Republicans won't serve it up.
More accurately, you don't hear anyone else saying this -- on the left. Obama comes close, however, with his "My2k" pitch in pointing out that extending Bush tax policy saves the average middle-class family about $2,000 annually.