“Not a revenue problem, a spending problem”: Tracing the history of a Republican talking point.

A good talking point needs to fulfill two goals. One: Hammer home a message until it’s embedded in the brain like a Rebecca Black track. Two: Make it clear that there will never be a new answer to an irksome question.

Republicans have latched on to a very good talking point, and it’s been all over the place in the run-up to Tax Day. On April 14, when asked why Republicans wouldn’t consider tax increases as a way to reduce the deficit, Speaker of the House John Boehner explained: “Washington does not have a revenue problem. Washington has a spending problem.” That same day, Majority Leader Eric Cantor got the same question. “The fact [that] I think most Americans get, Washington does not have a revenue problem. It’s got a spending problem.” Also on the same day, speaking to an annual event put on by Grover Norquist’s Americans for Tax Reform, Orrin Hatch completed the loop. “We don’t have a revenue problem,” said Hatch. “We all know we have a spending problem.”

If you teleported to three different parts of the Capitol Building and talked to three different Republicans, you would have gotten the same answer. How did Republicans develop this line, and how much sense does it make?

via Slate Magazine.

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