For years, Republicans -- and George W. Bush in particular -- have told middle-class and poor Americans that tax cuts for the rich (on capital gains, on inherited wealth) are in their best interest. Republicans have said that it doesn't matter who benefits and who doesn't -- a tax cut is a tax cut, and all tax cuts are good for ordinary Americans.
Last night, Bush told us we should accept Social Security benefit cuts for the middle class and the rich.
How is it possible to reconcile that with the standard GOP economic line? If, by definition, every tax cut for Peter is good for Paul, why should Paul be pleased that Peter's benefits are being cut?
(I'm ignoring the fact that Bush is really asking the middle class to accept a big benefit cut on itself, because it's obvious that Bush hopes what you took away from the press conference was "The rich lose the most" -- a strange message from the leader of a party that shrieks "Class warfare!" every time a Democrat says of a tax cut, "The rich benefit the most.")