Poor and middle-class workers tolerate fewer attacks on the rich in America than in other developed nations; most of them still believe that if they work hard enough, they’ve got a shot to get rich, too. Still, it’s tough to win a class war squarely on the side of the wealthy. Aspirational voters don’t like the possibility that government policy is rigged to help the rich get richer and keep the middle class from getting ahead. That’s where Obama’s attacks have connected.

That’s also why putting Ryan on the ticket is a chance for Romney to turn the class attacks back on Obama, reframing the election as a choice between a challenger who wants to boost the middle class and a president who wants to funnel hard-earned middle-class tax dollars to the poor…

Republicans, though, could use the Ryan budget as a class-war weapon. It reduces federal spending and brings down the debt – ideas middle-class voters love in concept. And it does so, over the long term, by carving huge chunks of spending growth off programs to help the poor. By 2050, the Congressional Budget Office estimated this year, the Ryan plan would reduce spending on Medicaid and the federal children’s health insurance program to one-quarter of the level it is otherwise projected to reach.