The video: When President Obama unveiled his "Buffett rule" — which seeks to ensure that millionaires like Warren Buffett don't pay lower tax rates than middle-class Americans like Buffett's secretary — Republicans accused Obama of "class warfare." But now, the liberal site ThinkProgress has uncovered one of the president's predecessors sounding strikingly like Obama in railing against "crazy" and "unproductive tax loopholes" that allow the "truly wealthy to avoid paying their fair share," and letting some "millionaires pay nothing, while a bus driver was paying 10 percent of his salary." That president? Ronald Reagan in 1985, stumping for a tax reform bill that passed the next year. (Watch the Reagan-Obama mashup video below.)
The reaction: Obama and Reagan are so clearly reading from the same script that Obama would be "justified in calling the tax idea the 'Reagan Rule,'" says Steve Benen at Washington Monthly. This is just more proof that today's "radicalized" Republicans wouldn't just reject the policies of their own hero, but that they'd "find him quite offensive." Give me a break, says Steven Hayward at PowerLine. Liberals love to selectively pick soundbites from Reagan speeches to try to sell tax hikes. But doing so "is disingenuous on every level." The truth is, Obama's plan is "the polar opposite of Reagan's policy approach." Judge for yourself:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The 5 most important developments in climate change in 2014
- Why we can't educate racism away
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- China's leader is telling the People's Liberation Army to prepare for war
- Oil prices have nosedived — why aren't airfares doing the same?
When Americans banned Christmas
- The real story of Christmas
- Why America would be foolish to wage a cyber-war against North Korea
Subscribe to the Week