Democrats won’t admit their side lies

“They lie, and they don’t care if people think they lie,” California Democratic Party Chairman John Burton told reporter Joe Garofoli before a state delegation breakfast Monday. Burton even brought up that “as long as you lie, Joseph Goebbels, the big lie, you keep repeating it, you know.”

First off, Nazi analogies are obnoxious; they trivialize Adolf Hitler’s atrocities. For his part, Burton is not above spewing hate himself. In a radio interview, he told KCBS’ Doug Sovern that Republicans are likely to take his remarks as a compliment. Later in the day, Burton issued a statement that stipulated he never said the word “Nazi” and included an apology “if” he offended anyone.

Secondly, there’s something annoying about Democrats’ apparent belief that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have been untruthful but that their side has not. Never their side.

Nonsense. Addressing the Faith Council at the Charlotte Convention Center, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., told a whopper when she insisted that Romney and Ryan believe “we should give more tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires — more tax breaks to people who are already doing really well — and make sure that they can do even better and have the middle class and working families pay for those tax breaks.”

Where does this silly charge originate? On Aug. 1, the Tax Policy Center came out with a report that said Romney’s tax proposals “would provide large tax cuts to high-income households, and increase the tax burdens on middle- and/or lower-income taxpayers.”

Here’s the problem: The Tax Policy Center report starts with the caveat, “We do not score Governor Romney’s plan directly, as certain components of his plan are not specified in sufficient detail.” Analysts made a number of assumptions, also known as guesses.

They ignored the fact that Romney wants to cut everyone’s taxes by 20 percent, not raise them. The analysts purposefully and explicitly ignored Romney’s pledge to cut federal spending. Then they jumped on the most impossible-to-imagine scenario of Romney’s approving a tax increase on the majority of American workers — with the help of a spineless Congress, no less.

Now, I agree that Romney’s blurry economic plan — which promises a tax rate reduction paid for by eliminating as yet unspecified tax deductions — has the dangerous potential to increase the deficit. That’s my concern with the Romney tax package. Of course, I have much bigger concerns on that score with President Barack Obama.

Wasserman Schultz has cover for her charge: She can cite fact check groups such as the Tax Policy Center because it laid out its assumptions, and given its assumptions, its scenario works. But a politician of her acumen knows that a Romney White House would not pass a big tax increase on to middle-class voters. Romney doesn’t want to do it. Likewise Congress, where pols of both stripes nurse an abiding fear of incurring the wrath of American voters.

Then again, as Burton said of the Republicans, operatives can be “very cynical.” And: “They do not care about the truth.”

Debra J. Saunders is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Her email address is dsaunders@sfchronicle.com

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