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MILLER: Vying for Tom, Dick and Harriet

Romney and Obama battle for middle-class votes

- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 7, 2012

President Obama and Mitt Romney are at loggerheads over who can help middle-class Americans get out of this economic morass. Both candidates say their plans will restore financial security to families. Of course, only one of them has already had three years to try.

Mr. Obama will be in Colorado on Wednesday to, once again, lay out "his vision to restore middle-class economic security." He will undoubtedly renew the claim he made at a fundraiser on Monday night that, "Gov. Romney's plan would effectively raise taxes on middle-class families with children by an average of $2,000 to pay for this tax cut." The president then added, "It's like Robin Hood in reverse. It's Romney Hood."

Mr. Romney's campaign quickly rejected that accusation. "There's only one candidate in this race who's going to raise taxes on the American people -- and that's Barack Obama," said spokesman Ryan Williams.

Mr. Obama bases his charge on a study from the Tax Policy Center that assumes when the GOP candidate overhauls the tax code to make it flatter and fairer, it would result in higher taxes on the middle class because of fewer deductions to reduce its liability. This faulty analysis, however, didn't account for growth from a lower corporate tax rate and spending cuts and misrepresents how Mr. Romney's plan achieves revenue neutrality.

For someone who claims to be in touch with the working man, Mr. Obama spends a lot of quality time with the upper crust. On Monday, he took Air Force One to Connecticut for another glitzy Hollywood fundraiser at the home of movie producer Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman.

Their 60 guests who paid $35,800 each to have dinner with the president included editor in chief of Vogue magazine, Anna Wintour, "West Wing" screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, "Batman" star Anne Hathaway, Paul Newman's widow, the actress Joanne Woodward, and trash talk-show host Jerry Springer.

Flanked by Mr. Weinstein's two Oscars and overlooking the Long Island Sound, Mr. Obama told the chi-chi crowd, "the great privilege of being president is you interact with people from every walk of life."

Mr. Romney, by comparison, will be taking a less expensive mode of transportation on Saturday when he launches the "Romney Plan for a Stronger Middle Class" bus tour, which will start in Virginia and drive through North Carolina, Florida and Ohio.

On Tuesday, the former Massachusetts governor advanced the trip by laying out a five-point plan to help the middle class: Take advantage of America's energy resources; promote job-training skills and the work requirement for welfare; enact trade policies that benefit the U.S.; balance the budget; and support small business.

He told supporters in Illinois that his plan is "going to help small businesses and other businesses create 12 million new jobs in America. And we're going to see rising wages again and take-home pay. That is the answer for America."

The fight for the middle class is simple: Americans will vote for the candidate they believe can give them the best opportunity to provide for their families. Mr. Romney will lower taxes and take concrete steps to create jobs and spur the economy. Mr. Obama just gives vague promises to do better if given another shot.

Emily Miller is a senior editor for the Opinion pages at The Washington Times.

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