You have to give it to ‘word doctor’ Frank Luntz, the man responsible for phrases like ‘Death Tax’ (inheritance tax) and ‘The Nuclear Option’ (reconciliation). The man knows how to lie.
In a brazenly dishonest article for the Huff Post, Luntz makes a highly familiar argument that the Democrat’s Wall St reform package is a giveaway to the industry and that ‘Americans don’t want it’ (ie. Republicans don’t want it). This is the GOP talking point being regurgitated Sarah Palin on her facebook page and clearly the party’s main line of attack. But Luntz, to his credit, takes the line one step further. He writes:
The Democrats promise that you won’t pay for their legislation, banks
Since when have corporations ever paid taxes, fees or
penalties? Employees end up paying in the form of lower salaries and
benefits. Customers end up paying in the form of higher costs.
And in this case, every account holder will be forced to pay
higher fees on their checking account and savings account. That’s you,
my friendly reader. Can you say “checkbook tax”? I can, and I think
lots of candidates will be saying it come November. Is that what you
really want to do to your constituents, Senator Lincoln? Is that what
you really want to explain on the campaign trail, Senator Bennett?
This really is a brilliant move, a Rovian tactic perfected over years to confuse the public and turn them against something clearly in their own interest. Luntz claims that regulating the banks will only result in higher fees for everyone. This is of course, absolute nonsense, as part of the reform would explicitly stop this from happening. Luntz would apparently like to keep everyone’s fees down by hoping the banks will play nice and stop gauging their customers.
Here’s the warped logic of the Palin/Luntz anti Wall St reform bill: Government cannot regulate Wall St because government is corrupt. Government is corrupt because Wall St owns government. Therefore no one should regulate Wall St.
And who is supposed to regulate them Frank? Would it not be a good idea to have those members of government not influenced by Wall St take charge on reform? Unfortunately, the hired hit man has no answers.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.