Consider that the Democratic party is now committed, body and soul, to defending “the middle-class tax cuts.” They are the party of the middle class, they trill. Yet when these tax rates were enacted, every living Democrat denounced them as “tax cuts for the rich.” Every Democratic tongue swore that Bush had passed “tax cuts for the rich.” The Republicans piped in response: “No, they were tax cuts for everyone.” But they were drowned out. The libel stuck, and it persists even now as Democrats go to the mat for those Bush middle-class tax rates.

Also, the Bush tax cuts made the tax code more, not less, progressive. More than 8 million taxpayers were relieved of paying taxes altogether because the Bush reforms doubled the child tax credit and expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit. That may have been a political miscalculation as it insulated more Americans from the cost of government. But it’s certainly at odds with the conventional wisdom that Republicans didn’t consider the needs of working Americans when they were in power…

Democrats, especially this president, have scorned the Bush years for their accumulated debt and for raging inequality. Yet, as Professor Emmanuel Saez of Berkeley (yes, Berkeley) has shown, the income gap during Obama’s first term has been far more pronounced than it was during the Bush years. As Alexander Eichler of the Huffington Post put it, “The rising tide has lifted fewer boats during the Obama years — and the ones it’s lifted have been mostly yachts.”