Seeking to rally their struggling party for the final weeks of the midterm election, Democrats made the most compelling case yet for keeping themselves in power: promising a tax break to 97 percent of the Americans who vote their ticket.
Seeking to rally their struggling party for the final weeks of the midterm election, Democrats made the most compelling case yet for keeping themselves in power, promising a tax break to 97 percent of the Americans who vote their ticket.
Casting their party members as fighters for the middle class and Republicans as protectors of “millionaire and billionaire voters,” Democrats said the Obama-era tax breaks for middle class voters who earn less than $200,000 a year and vote Democratic would take effect immediately.
“A lot has changed since we came here in those final days of the last election,” Democratic leaders said during a campaign stop in Cleveland yesterday. “Back then, we were asking for your help. Now, we’re asking if that help can be bought. We believe the American people are above all else a sensible people, and what could be more sensible than getting paid to vote Democratic? When it comes to this election, there is only one choice that is right for most Americans and all Democrats, and we are confident that in November the voters will make that right choice. And if they do, Cleveland might even get LeBron James back.”
Republican Congressional leaders fired back. They called the Democrats’ proposal to return James to Cleveland anti-American and described the tax break to 97 percent of the Democratic voting electorate as a give-away to a special interest group and a job-killing tax hike on the country’s wealthiest 3 percent.
“What we need are more jobs, not irresponsible spending on voters that run up campaign spending and mortgage the future of our kids who want to run for office as Republicans,” GOP leaders said in a press release.
After months of campaigning on lofty promises to look out for the interests of the average American — a message that didn’t appear to be resonating with average Americans — Democrats decided to change course and “put their money where their mouths were.”
“I think average American voters appreciate honesty — even if what we are telling them is that we have no interest in their well-being beyond securing their vote,” said one Democratic senator.
The Democrats’ newest proposal to help their flagging campaigns, based on the idea that votes are bought more than earned, is an idea that typically has strong Republican and business backing. But the new proposal would take this philosophy politically and fiscally far beyond its usual domain of backrooms and expensive fishing trips.
In defending their action, Democratic leaders sought to differentiate between the party today and an earlier time when it upheld “a noble vision of what this country can be,” and had statesmen who “didn’t spend all their time playing games or scoring points” and “didn’t always prey on people’s fears.”
“We can get back to trying to articulate those gallant ideas for a higher civilization at some point, but now is the time for fear-mongering, finger-pointing, and whatever else it takes to keep our jobs,” said one longtime Democrat.
While acknowledging that Democrats “are frustrated and angry and anxious about the future,” the party leaders said that returning to governing as they had been would mean a return to the failed policies that led to the political crisis the party finds itself in.
While strenuously avoiding labeling their plan as a second stimulus package, Democrats emphasized that voting is “hard work” and that those with too little time and too little money should expect their effort to be bought.
“By offering pay for their votes, we are helping simplify and improve the lives of many struggling Americans who have no idea of who is running or what is at stake,” said one representative, who is campaigning for re-election. “It’s time we stop treating voters as slaves to democracy and let the market dictate who votes for whom.”
Democrats, calling themselves the party of gift ideas, estimated that the tax break would mean an extra $3,000 in the pocket of the average hardworking Democratic voter, and party leaders said they were considering offering “an extra bonus” of 50 percent more to members of families who have all their family members that are of voting age vote for Democrats in the upcoming midterm elections.
“I realize in some cases there are genuine philosophical differences between Democrats and voters,” said one Democratic leader, “but we don’t believe voters should, or will, let that stand between them and an extra buck.”
Philip Maddocks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.