U.S. Senate candidate Jane Norton is countering Pres. Obama’s trip to Colorado to support U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet’s campaign by launching a slick new ad. She stands against a sandy bluff to criticize Obama’s federal spending. Norton has run almost entirely against Obama and his “big government deficits” and “government takeovers” for half a year. In the ad she criticizes “massive spending and debt.” The ad begs questions. What evidence, for example, is there that Norton is the anti-tax small-government deficit hawk she would like her supporters to believe she is? There is plenty of evidence that she is not that at all.
Jane Norton supported Referendum C in Colorado, a celebrated move to generate revenue for the state’s struggling schools. Ref C raised taxes and is evidence to fiscal conservative voters in the state that Norton is not to be trusted. She touts her work for the Reagan administration. But as serious analysts know, Reagan was the father of tax-cut deficit spending, setting in motion the GOP approach to governing that ended for now in the runaway deficit spending and fiscal calamity of the George W Bush years that Norton will continue to unabashedly ascribe to Obama.
Norton may be a staunch opponent of government spending in a recession. She may be entirely set against stimulus-style programs. Let her say that and let her opponents marshal serious economists to mock that trickle-down supply-side argument. But let her not say that she is against raising taxes to pay for government obligations because it has not been the case in the past.
A strong blog post at Colorado Pols today lists Norton’s general economic policy prescription. She calls for deep cuts in discretionary spending without saying what she would cut. She calls for Reagan-style tax slashing that she says “worked.” She calls for an end to earmarks, just like everyone else has done. She wants to put any leftover stimulus and TARP money toward the deficit.
What will Bennet say in response to this ad? Will it include an elaboration of his own economic policy prescription?