As loathe as I am to admit it, I actually think President Obama’s piecemeal “let’s pass what we can agree on, and argue about the rest later” proposal to extend the Bush-era tax cuts just for those making less than a quarter of a million dollars a year was pretty darn clever. While anyone not mesmerized by his populist charm realizes that what he’s actually proposing are tax hikes on people who already pay way more than most in taxes, he gets to set himself up as the great Compromiser-in-Chief against those petty obstructionist Republicans.

Republicans are countering, however, with one of the obvious flaws in President Obama’s magnanimous proposal: We need economic growth, which is rarely-to-never a byproduct of tax hikes. Taxing the heck out of America’s job creators and small businesses, so that you can take money out of productive private-sector uses and instead put it to the public entitlement-heavy uses of your political whimsy, is not going to grow our economic pie.

So Obama’s got to try and cover his bases, and is apparently looking to some ostensibly pro-small business but basically weaksauce government actions to bolster his creds.

The White House said it is expanding a program to accelerate payments to small businesses that contract with the federal government, reducing paperwork for companies seeking disaster loans and boosting access to capital, among other things. The steps are aimed at “keeping the wind at the back of America’s small businesses, said U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills. …

Mr. Obama tried to undercut the GOP’s argument. “We know what those who are opposed to letting the high-end tax cuts expire will say,” Mr. Obama said from the White House Monday. “They’ll say that we can’t tax ‘job creators.’ And they’ll try to explain how this would be bad for small businesses.”

Top that with just a neat little messaging package and call it a day:

Er, okay, I’m not sure how you can accurately summarize two politicians’ plans for a wildly complex issue within a 30-second ad spot — oh, ’cause that’s right, you can’t. You can simplify them just enough to offer some relentless spin, by condensing Romney’s entire tax philosophy to this little gem:

“Mitt Romney’s plan,” the ad says, includes “a 25% tax cut for millionaires, tax breaks for oil companies and corporations that ship jobs overseas, but a tax hike for 18 million working families.”

For evidence on the “working families” tax increase, the Obama campaign cites a Politifact analysis which says Romney has not publicly supported extending tax provisions aimed at low-income earners including the American Opportunity Tax Credit (an education benefit), the Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Child Tax Credit (to offset some of the cost of raising a child).

Yes, I’m certain that covers just about the long and short of it: Romney wants to raise taxes on the struggling middle class and lower taxes for his filthy-rich fellows, while Obama wants to do the exact opposite. Because, remember kids, tax cuts for the wealthy and oil companies, et al are always at the expense of the little guy, and do absolutely nothing to grow the economy and help him out, too. Amiright?