Attacks and Responses


"We're done on taxes but Democrats want to raise them even more."

  • Politicians only say they're done on taxes if they want to keep our tax code rigged.
  • Our rigged tax code still allows billionaire hedge fund managers to pay lower taxes than their secretaries and some big corporations to pay no taxes at all. Clearly there's plenty left to do on taxes!
  • These tax loopholes are easy to find, but Republicans in Congress refuse to name a single one they would actually close. 
  • In fact, Republicans in Congress are the ones trying to raise taxes on the middle class. They want to let wealthy people and big corporations pay far lower tax rates than they do now, which means everyone else has to make up the difference. It's simple math.

"Republicans in Congress are willing to raise taxes if Democrats agree to entitlement reform."

  • Let's be clear on what Congressional Republicans want here: privatize Social Security, turn Medicare into a voucher, and wash their hands of Medicaid altogether.
  • And in exchange for what? "Tax reform," which for them, really means more tax breaks for the wealthy and big corporations. 
  • The reality is that Republicans in Congress refuse to name a single tax loophole they would actually close. Instead, they're trying to rig the tax code to favor the wealthy and multinational corporations even more.
  • That's not what fiscal responsibility or staying true to our values as Americans looks like. In these tight times, we should be investing in what works -- the most efficient systems for securing our health care and financial security.

"Raising taxes on the wealthy won’t cr
eate jobs."

  • When President Clinton told millionaires and big corporations to pay their fair share, we got millions of new jobs and strong economic growth.
  • We should be putting money in the pockets of real job creators: the middle class whose spending keeps our businesses thriving and hiring. But Republicans would rather take from working families to give more to millionaires and big corporations already sitting on trillions of cash.
  • When people who do well in America do well by America, we can help pay down our debt and put Americans back to work -- and that means more customers with money in their pockets.
  • Everyone paying their fair share means America can invest in the things that keep our businesses thriving -- maintaining the roads they use, keeping their stores safe, and educating the workers they hire.

"We can't raise taxes on the wealthy because they're our job creators."

"Half of Americans don't pay taxes -- low-income people aren't paying their fair share."

  • Actually, all Americans pay taxes. Even those who don't make enough money to pay taxes on their income still pay taxes like payroll, property or sales tax, or taxes on everyday things like gas for their cars.
  • The real problem is that regular Americans are working harder and harder but getting paid less and less. With half of Americans making less than $30,000 a year, many just aren't earning enough to be taxed on their income.
  • Struggling families would be happy to be paying more taxes if it meant they made as much money as millionaires do.
  • The richest few are doing better than ever while so many working families are struggling -- let's restore the tax rates we had when millionaires paid their fair share and our economy flourished.

"In Obama’s government-centered society, you need taxes to spread the wealth around."

  • This is about which America we want: a nation where millionaires pay lower taxes than middle-class Americans or one where everyone pays their fair share. It's not even a close call what most Americans would choose.
  • All of America does better when everyone pays their fair share, everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone plays by the same rules.
  • But Mitt Romney would make our rigged tax code even worse and make struggling families pay MORE taxes so he and the rest of the 1% can pay LESS.

"President Obama is a hypocrite. Why doesn't he just donate his own money to the federal government?"

  • If Republican politicians think oil companies need more subsidies, why don’t they volunteer to pay more at the pump? If they want bigger bonuses for Wall Street CEOs, why don't they write them a check?
  • This is about a rigged tax code that President Obama is trying to change. This is about everyone playing by the same rules, including the President.
  • The difference between Obama and the politicians and special interest groups attacking him is that they're trying to make our rigged tax system even worse. Obama's been saying all along that rich Americans like him should be paying higher taxes because it's the right thing to do for our country.

"Everyone's tax rates should be as low as what billionaires pay."

  • Americans throughout our history contributing their fair share in taxes made it possible for Americans to go to the moon, help millions of veterans go to college on the GI Bill, and build the Hoover Dam.
  • We all contribute so our roads are paved, our children are educated and our communities are safe. If everyone started paying as little as Mitt Romney, we'd be in trouble.
  • While the GOP candidates are trying to cut their own taxes, Warren Buffett, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Mike Bloomberg, and hundreds of "patriotic millionaires" say the wealthiest Americans like them should do what's right and pay higher taxes for the sake of the country.

"Democrats are waging class warfare."

  • As Warren Buffett tells it, the only class warfare in America is being waged by his class -- and they're winning.
  • In America, we celebrate success and want everyone plays by the rules to do well. And when people do well in America, they should do well by America so everyone has a fair shot.
  • Our economy works best when everyone plays by the same rules, everyone pays their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot.

"The Buffett Rule isn't worth it because it raises only a pittance amount of money."

  • Republicans can't make up their mind about how to smear the Buffett Rule. They’re attacking the it for raising taxes on millionaires -- but also for not raising their taxes enough. That's like complaining the food is terrible and they didn't bring you seconds!
  • But that's exactly what we'd expect from the politicians who so easily doubled the national debt and fought for the wasteful tax giveaways behind today's record deficits.
  • All of America does better when everyone pays their fair share, everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone plays by the same rules. The Buffett Rule is the right start.


"The corporate tax rate is the highest in the world."

  • The effective corporate income tax rate is only 12%. Corporations in America haven't been paying the full corporate tax rate for 45 years, and some multinational companies like GE and Verizon are dodging taxes so well that they're getting money back from American taxpayers.
  • Big corporations are paying historically low taxes because Congress has given them so manyspecial tax loopholes and excuses to stash their profits offshore -- while laying off Americans.
  • The lobbyists complaining that the corporate tax rate is too high to be competitive want us to forget that most other advanced countries actually tax corporations at higher rates and raise more revenues from corporations than we do.
  • So big corporations are enjoying record profits at 60-year highs and hoarding massive amounts of cash while stiffing the workers who keep their companies going. They're just complaining that we're not paying enough of their share.

"We should move to a territorial foreign tax system."

  • A "territorial tax system" is Washington lobbyists' code for rewarding big multinational corporations for sending American jobs overseas. It's just a fancy way for corporate tax lobbyists to say they want more tax cuts.
  • Here's the real story. Multinational corporations already pay no U.S. income taxes on their offshore profits, as long as the profits stay offshore. Under a "territorial" tax system, they would never have to pay U.S. income taxes on those profits -- encouraging them to offshore even more.
  • It should be a no-brainer that we should be rewarding companies for investing in America and putting Americans back to work, not giving them more tax breaks for sending jobs overseas.
  • Big corporations are doing just fine. The lion's share of our economic recovery is already going to corporate profits instead of regular workers' pockets, and some corporations like GE and Verizon are getting away with paying no income taxes at all

"A repatriation tax holiday will create jobs for millions of Americans."

  • We tried this before and it failed. Corporate CEOs started to fire American workers the day the tax loophole kicked in and eventually laid off hundreds of thousands of people.
  • Economists and tax experts say this new tax giveaway would actually encourage corporations to send even more American jobs overseas.
  • Even corporate CEOs admit this tax loophole won't create jobs -- but they want the giant windfall from taxpayers anyway.

"A repatriation tax holiday will raise
billions for the U.S. Treasury."

We develop messaging by aggregating, analyzing and distilling polling, tested messaging, and expert recommendations, and monitoring the media to identify what is and isn't working. See here for some of the experts and organizations we draw on.


Posted in - Taxes

Click to see the One-Pagers for selected date


Upcoming messaging opportunities

Click on the google icon to add this calendar to your Google calendar.