Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Tuesday | December 03, 2002

Kerry on the attack again

Someone needs to warn John Kerry about peaking too early. Building on existing momentum, Kerry has turned from criticizing Bush on war, to criticizing Bush on taxes:

Democratic presidential hopeful John Kerry proposed new tax cuts now for the middle class, while criticizing the Bush administration's tax policy as "unfair, unaffordable and unquestionably ineffective in growing our economy."


"The largest cost of the Bush tax giveaway will not be borne by any of us here today -- it will be paid for by our children. We're borrowing from Social Security and Medicare to put money in our pockets today -- and sticking our children with the bill."


To focus tax relief on lower and middle income workers, Kerry proposed "a payroll tax holiday" on the first $10,000 of income, meaning no Social Security tax could be collected on that amount.


"Every worker in America would immediately receive a 765 dollar tax cut and every two-income family would get a cut of $1,530," he said, "money to help families pay for new school clothes, put a down payment on a new car or save for the future."

Kerry also proposed
  • extending unemployment benefits

  • raising the minimum wage

  • expanding the earned income tax credit

  • a slew of business tax credits to spur business hiring

  • increased focus on alternative energies, and

  • ending corporate welfare
Unlike John Edward's lame education speech, which received zero attention, Kerry is starting to get the kind of press associated with a frontrunner. The danger, of course, is that a focused press will have plenty of time to start digging through closets, and either find or invent skeletons. And you better believe that the Rove/VRWC machinery will launch its character assasination program soon. How Kerry weathers the coming storm will say plenty about his chances.

One other thing to keep in mind: the primaries will be held earlier than ever in 2004, forcing the presidential aspirants to do all of their fundraising in 2003. Thus, the race is on full-bore, as candidates desperately scramble for the millions they will need to compete nationwide. Some estimates bandied about suggest that candidates will need a minimum of $20 million just to ante up.

Thus, we can expect the presidential aspirants to make bold proposals to garner media attention, better poll numbers (even though polls at this stage are ridiculous), and, ultimately, lots of $$$$.

And, at first blush it seems that this will be good for the Democratic Party. Its congressional delegation is paralyzed by some sort of Karl Rove paralysis ray. Thus, it will be up to the presidential aspirants to push the party forward, clearly articulate what they stand for, and by extension, their vision of the future of the Democratic Party.

Update: Josh Marshall has several posts on the bashing Kerry is starting to take from the usual suspects.

Update II: Kerry is hot today. Also check out Mathew Yglesias, Lean Left, Off The Kuff, and Busy Busy Busy (peripherally). There may be others, but I do have a day job. (It's amazing I get away with this much blogging as it is!)

Posted December 03, 2002 10:15 AM | Comments (130)


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