Bush & Taxes

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Tiassa, Feb 24, 2004.

  1. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    What's actually impressive about this story is that the administration may have been pushed to the wall by Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln (D). However, to Secretary Snow's credit, he took the proper avenue for his response:
    One of the things I find most interesting about election cycles is that it's not so much the cheap packaging that really drops my jaw in most cases. Rather, we'll see how contentious this issue gets; but framing the issue can be difficult when someone pulls the rug out from under you while you do it.

    If I recall, deficit and taxes were among voter concerns when they picked Bush the Elder over Duke Michael, and Poppy's failure on the tax front was among the things that cost him a second term. Clinton rode budget-fever, daring to shut down the federal government in a move that many of us with no direct dependence (e.g. social security, veterans' services, welfare, &c.) largely appreciated. Like the old woman's laughing reaction in Mars Attacks!--"They blew up Congress!"--I think many viewed the Clinton-Gingrich standoff with an attitude of, "Whatever stops them from screwing up for even a day!"

    And, as many pundits pointed out, Prince Albert's strange avoidance of Clinton's triumphs came back to haunt him, and he let Dubya's "Chicken Little" routine steal the thunder. It was all about the economy.

    So one might well wonder if the Bush administration can hold out its line on tax cuts all the way to November with pesky issues like disagreeing with the IRS (e.g. Treasury) on certain statistical data popping up here and there.

    See, that's the real black eye of Snow's retreat before Congress. Hey, why not take another look at the numbers instead of shooting off a random answer? But it's embarassing when it's one of your own subordinate departments you need to reconcile with.

    When I was a kid and my father would hound me all the way back to wherever a bad situation had gone afoul in my hands, the philosophy would have wondered why, even if Snow disagreed with the numbers, he wasn't ready to undertake them. "Always be prepared," say the Boy Scouts. "You gotta think ahead," my father would lecture me.

    I don't know why but being able to point at the Secretary of the Treasury and saying, "No, I don't, Dad--see?" just doesn't bring that thrill of ideological triumph that apparently is one of the gifts of youthful folly.

    But we'll see whose fashioning of the situation appeals more to voters, whose rendering seems more realistically palatable.

    • Weisman, Jonathan. "Bush Assertion on Tax Cuts Is at Odds With IRS Data." Washington Post, February 24, 2004; page A04. See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A488-2004Feb23.html

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