Monday | May 05, 2003
Bush still pushing hard for tax cuts
Bush is nothing if not tenacious. Democrats are blasting his latest tax cut proposal as excessive and irresponsible in times of high budget deficits. Alan Greenspan, though assured yet another term as Federal Reserve Chairman, has testified against Bush's tax cuts. Senate "moderates" have halved Bush's original tax cut plan. House Republicans are starting to defect from the Bush side and agitating for a rejection of Bush's centerpiece -- the elimination of stock dividend taxation.
But Bush doesn't care. He just pushes on.
After going after Republican Senate holdout Sen. Voinovich, Bush will spend time in Arkansas today hoping to put pressure on Senate moderate Democrat Blanche Lincoln.
Yet this is exhibit "A" of Bush's modus operandi, and the reason Lincoln and the other holdouts need to stay united --
Bush pushes hard for support amongst "red state" Democrats, oftentimes getting such support (Lincoln voted for Bush's orginal round of tax cuts). Yet, even after pressuring such Democrats into compliance, Bush runs hard against them in a bid to replace them with equally compliant senators, but sporting an (R) next to their names.
Right now, rumors are swirling that the White House has picked Asa Hutchinson to challenge Lincoln in 2004. While Hutchinson has denied the rumors, Hutchinson has been spending a great deal of time in Arkansas lately, keeping speculation of a Senate run alive.
Back to the tax cuts, it's interesting how Bush can become dogmatic about certain issues. The average president would've taken the $350 billion tax cut and declared victory. After all, we're in a recession, sporting record budget deficits, facing the baby boomer retirement and rebuilding two bombed out countries (supposedly). And the public has little appetite for more cuts in the latest round of polling. In such an environment, a $350 billion tax cut is tantamount to a stunning coup.
But not for Bush. I've got to say I admire his single-minded fundamentalist approach to the issues he cares about (i.e. war, tax cuts, and funding of religious groups).
I would kill to see a Democrat that committed to his or her party's core beliefs.Posted May 05, 2003 06:47 AM | Comments (67)