Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Bush to sign tax increase?

Were I to write a book about the Bush 43 presidency, I would entitle it "Bill of Goods", for that is what we have been sold. The latest slap to his constituency's face, via the Washington Times:
The Bush administration has sent signals since last month's elections that the president is prepared to accept some tax increases on upper-income families, worrying congressional Republicans and fiscal conservative watchdogs who say he will compromise with Democrats to win a legacy accomplishment.

These moves come even as Democrats have pledged to rein in earmarks, winning praise from the same conservative groups that are criticizing Mr. Bush.

The watchdog groups have been demanding that the president repeat his earlier pledges not to raise taxes in order to reform Social Security. But the White House has refused, with officials saying everything is on the table, including tax increases.

"So far, no one in the administration has simply stood up and said, 'We will not raise payroll taxes in any way, shape or form,' " said Pete Sepp, a vice president for the National Taxpayers Union, which led a coalition of several dozen groups to write a letter asking for such an assurance. (Well, at least he didn't pull a "Read My Lips" this time. - Ed.)

Meanwhile, the House's top Republican on tax cuts, outgoing Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, warned last week that the White House has hinted that it will accept a tax increase on higher-income families in order to win accommodations from Democrats.

"I wish I were a bit more comfortable in listening to some of the noises that are currently being made," Mr. Thomas, California Republican, told the American Enterprise Institute, saying he is seeing signs that the administration may be "moving away from hard-fought policies to salvage what you thought you weren't going to get."

"Based upon some statements made by people in prominent positions who deal with money within the administration, comments about the individual top tax rate make me a little nervous," he said.

The White House-congressional split highlights a problem that Mr. Bush is likely to face for the next two years: the increasing division between Mr. Bush and his party as he works to find common ground with Democrats and Republicans work to hold the line on tax cuts and other gains they made on the Republican agenda.
"There is White House staff up on the Hill pushing this," said Phil Kerpen, director of policy for Americans for Prosperity, one of the watchdogs. "There has been for months. They really feel this is a legacy issue, and they're willing to accept compromise on policy issues."
One of the things I used to admire about Bush was his unyielding conviction, that he didn't care if anyone approved of his decisions as long as he was convinced that his decisions were right. However, I am becoming more convinced that since the Dems won the midterms this year, he is more interested in rehabbing his spotty legacy than in doing the right thing.

Seriously, a president who has always (and correctly) identified tax increases as counterproductive to a sound economy is now going sign a tax increase? My friends on the left might not agree with me on tax increases and tax cuts, but I'd like to think that they can spot political opportunism when it shamelessly presents itself.

Sweet cracker sandwich, I cannot wait until this guy gets out of the White House. For all of the good that this guy has done and that has happened on his watch (post-9/11 leadership, toppling the Taliban and Saddam, economic recovery and prosperity), he is wiping it out with his more boneheaded moves (only one veto, "drunken sailor" spending, campaign finance reform, prescription drugs, amnesty for illegals, and now tax increases). What the man doesn't seem to understand is that by "compromising" with Democrats, they're still not going to like him...and now, neither will Republicans.

One of the many things I detested about Clinton was that he was not a man of conviction, but a self-centered man of polls who has been trying to polish his stained-dress legacy since before he left. I never thought Bush would fall into the same catgory, but it looks more and more like he has.

Like I said...Bill of Goods.