In an opportunistic change of heart — or rhetoric — Democratic leaders like Representative Chris Van Hollen and Senator Kent Conrad have suggested that a tax-reform proposal advanced by Mitt Romney during the presidential campaign may be a critical part of any bargain to address the “fiscal cliff.” That’s right: The same Romney tax plan that President Obama called a “sketchy deal” during the fall campaign has now become the one policy option that might avert disaster.Democrats are indeed floating a cap on deductions as a mechanism for raising revenue; during the campaign, Romney floated the same sort of cap, but he proposed it as a mechanism for lowering tax rates by 20 percent from current levels. But even though the plans have very different goals, Chen is very upset because he thinks Democrats are plotting to use the similarity of the mechanisms as a ploy to steal Romney's brand. Seriously:
The only problem is that Democrats aren’t actually considering anything even close to the proposal that Romney floated during the campaign.
Exit polls showed that Americans believed Romney was more capable of turning the economy around and would be better at handling the economy than the president. So now Democrats are stealing the Romney brand — embracing the “Romney tax plan” — and hoping that the American people will ignore the glaring fact that what they are proposing looks nothing like the proposal Romney laid out during his campaign. Their efforts are particularly galling given how viciously they attacked and distorted Romney’s actual tax plan during the campaign.Apparently Chen has forgotten who won the election. A majority of Americans voted to reelect President Obama and exit polls showed they supported his position on taxes. And between Romney's 47 percent speech and his ongoing rants about "gifts," if there's one brand Democrats aren't interested in stealing, it's Mitt Romney's.
Oh, and by the way, if there's any attempted brand-stealing going on here, it's the other way away around: President Obama proposed a cap on deductions in 2011, long before Romney suggested anything along those lines. But that's okay, as long as Romney's campaign continues to entertain us, nobody's going to call the brand police.