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Saturday, October 1, 2016

Signing the 2001 legislation that came to be known as the "Bush tax cuts."

When George W. Bush made his first public appearance in many months to discuss economic policy in New York on Tuesday, his utterances may have revealed more than he intended. “I wish they weren’t called the ‘Bush tax cuts’,” he said of the decade-old rate reductions that bear his name. But does he really believe, as he seemed to suggest, that Americans want to let those cuts expire from a desire to spite him? Or is there a deeper Bush somewhere within who would prefer not to be associated with fiscal profligacy and ideological overreach?

Whatever his motives, Bush’s curious remark draws a sharp contrast with his predecessor Bill Clinton – who often speaks proudly of the tax increase that was so central to his first budget as president two decades ago. Clinton, who speaks publicly far more often than Bush, frequently notes that the 1993 tax increase was the first step toward balance and growth after a dozen years of Republican  irresponsibility and stagnation.

It isn’t clear that Bush actually understands the indelible effects of his tax and spending policies. Someone should explain to him what is so painfully obvious when the numbers are added up: Not only should the tax cuts be named after him. So should the deficit and the debt.

The simple math is worth keeping in mind when Bush turns up to advocate maintaining the cuts he passed and legislating still more, which he claims wiill stimulate the private sector. “Much of the public debate is about our balance sheet…or entitlements,” he said , but the solution in his view is to focus on private sector growth. ”The pie grows, the debt relative to the pie shrinks and with fiscal discipline you can solve your deficits,” said Bush at a Manhattan conference sponsored by his George W. Bush Presidential Center on “Tax Policies For 4% Growth.” Bush Center fouding director James Glassman was present to repeat all the usual Republican bromides about incentivizing growth by cutting taxes on the wealthy, preferably to zero.

But as Clinton points out in Back To Work, the book he published last fall, it was his tax increases on the upper brackets (along with spending cuts) that propelled the country toward fiscal balance and a vanishing debt before Bush assumed office in 2001. “When I was president,” he wrote, “we passed the 1993 budget to reduce the deficit by $500 billion, roughly half from spending cuts, half from tax increases, with only Democratic votes. The bill produced a much greater reduction in the annual deficit than experts predicting, eliminating roughly 90 percent of it even before the Balanced Budget bill was enacted [emphasis in text], because it led to lower interest rates, more investment, and higher growth.” (See pages 35-43, with charts.)

The economic narrative of the Republican presidential campaign will blame increased deficits and debt on President Obama — and argue that cutting federal budgets while reducing taxes on the wealthy will somehow restore growth. Certainly that is what Bush tried to suggest in New York when he spoke so wistfully of his endangered tax cuts. But the math undercuts him. According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Bush’s tax cuts and war spending will account for nearly half of the $20 trillion in debt that will be accumulated by 2019. (That doesn’t include his misconceived and costly Medicare prescription drug benefit.) The Obama stimulus and financial bailouts, including the auto revival, will be responsible for less than $2 trillion of the total debt by then, or less than 10 percent.

With due respect to the former president, public revulsion over his failed policies long ago transcended him. Those Bush tax cuts,by any other name, would smell no sweeter.

 

  • Thepoorman

    Why is that guy able to hold a speech? Don`t forget he`s responsible for hundred thousands of people been murdered in Iraq and Afghanistan! The world knows that the Iraq War was based on a lie!
    I guess George W. is the most hated man in the world.Let him hide on his farm. Let him swim in his dollars while thinking about his evile deeds…

  • EdC

    One sentence sums it up It isn’t clear whether Bush fully understands the painfully obvious effects of his tax and spending policies. Not only should the tax cuts be named after him. So should the deficit and the debt.

  • ckibbey80

    You can dress a skunk up with a pretty red bow and lovely pink ribbons, and even change his color from black with white strip (or white spots), however, he is still a skunk!

  • AlSharon

    Bushes comments just proves that his tax reverseal should never have happened and now it is time to correct the damage he created by returnining taxes back to what they were when President Clinton was President. President Bush deserves title for the debt that followed the Clinton Administration and he proves it by his coments. Obama is correct to let taxes return to the Clinton Administration level. Lets move on and do what should have never have been done. Lets move on and restore taxes that will help undo the debt that was created.

  • Jwrtr68

    The Bush recession is what it all equates to! Republicans couldn’t hide that if they parked Jupiter between the earth and sun and said there was an eclipse, the Hubbel would reveal the lie just like arithmetic reveals the lies in the statements Bush had made. Dude is a retard!

  • AlSharon

    Ditto

  • js121

    Bush/Cheney are members of ALEC – a group of 100+corporations and ALL republican politicians/governors/judges. Under Bush, Koch brothers (leaders) were allowed to get the laws they needed in place for this final attempt to overthrow democracy and RULE our land. Corporations and politicians sit behind closed doors and draft the bills that serve their purposes. They are boilerplated and sent to all republican states and implemented. Don’t you wonder why 300 bills have gone through the Republican dominated state? Some states don’t even take the ALEC markings off the bills for pete’s sake. Koch believes in serfdom….unless we republicans wake up and realize that ALEC has taken over our party, we will ALL lose more than we ever dreamt of. alecexposed dot org Please read up so we know what we are up against.

  • hubydoll166

    That Dick Cheney really ran the whitehouse…and we all know or should know about his company Halliburton..It makes me dizzy thinking that giving wealthy people more money to create jobs that NEVER happened while our cvities crumble because of lost revenues. And to hear GOP spouting off that private biz needs to control everything is just zaney. Any and everybody knows that we must get revenue back to support our way of life. Im all for reforming many things but not cutting them. It makes me sad that the GOP have no faith in the american people and would throw our whole middle class under the bus and fight for big business like they do. Imagine if they concentrated effort into their slogan of “AMERICANS FIRST’? I wouldnt even have a problem with the private sector if the GOP didnt rail against things like consumer protections and regulations that make big business be accountable for their actions..In Las Vegas, a casino cant even open unless they have cash reserves to pay out if all games won at the same time in order to protect the customer. Our Prez pushed for a tax on the wallstreet speculators driving up gas prices last year and GOP opposed it. Now they want to blame the prez for something they know we dont control. We gotta decide what the heck we want as a nation bcz we ask for something then get mad bcz we get it..I dont know anyone who didnt want health care reform and we at least get a good start framework and the other side lies to people bcz they didnt implement it. Lets be clear here, there are just as bad DEMS as GOP’s who just spin things differently but in this fight the dems have truth on their side. How can any politician facilitate the drowning of our country bcz of hatred. Tells me who I wont vote for. Elect the dems and and democratic congress and we will be able to control them. Elect a GOP congress and just try to control them, we will go a hundred years back in time if we go GOP. The GOP are clearly going in the wrong direction on many issues.

  • I’m drawn back to my original assessment of GWB that had him choosing to take a political course that had as it’s only guidence the need to be 180 degrees away from Bill Clinton’s. It did not seem to matter whether such compass points made any sense -only that it was opposite from Clinton.

    Sadly, we’ve now all seen how that all worked out.

  • tutidiez1

    Well it seems that Mr Bush realized that Tax Cuts for the rich is not such a great idea, but now he hates the name this Tax Cuts have, What else does he wants to name them?, God Tax Cuts?, you name thing as what they are, and this one is Bush Tax Cuts, unfortunately he is not screaming high enough to his Republicans Evil Friends that This Tax Cuts are Stupid, Inmoral and Against any Positive Issue for the country and its People even for Republicans but as usual no matter what, how or who they hurt, they are still keeping it up as long as they get away with their evil Agenda, I just can’t understand where this people came from, it seem from outher Space, and with a lot of convincing power because there are a lot of Dummies out there following and believing every thing they say.

  • howa4x

    Not only should the Tax cuts be named for him as well as the deficit but also the interventionist wars in Iraq and afganistan, and the economic collaspe. He is ranked just above Nixon as our worst presidents, and at least Nixon started the EPA and opened the door to China. What has W done? Stop stem cell research, cut funding for infastructure repair, and food stamps, and womens health. When he left office 32 million had no health insurance, and out of that 50k were dying every year because of that. His education reform was a disaster. His only accomplishment, if you want to call it that was to push the wealthiest 1% 256% higher in income, than anyone else, and create the largest gap in any industrialized country. Yes there is a lot that should bear his name.

  • You complain and complain the mess handed down to Obama. Buck up whimp and work with your man because he has more spending goodies for the eager takers. And, he has taken your freedom and the American spirit with his “gifting”, my tax dollars, and mortgaged my kids future.

    • OK, you don’t like Obama or approve of his presidency. Can you please point out in some level of detail what freedom you’ve lost under his presidency? I’m still free to come and go as I wish, I’ve still got my Bible and my guns. Do you?

      You do seem to understand that Obama did inherit the mess left behind by the Bush years. Do you also realize that nearly all of Bush’s policies are still in place, including the dissaster of his tax policies and two wars? One is winding down and one is considered over. The tax cuts still remain, the massive increase in Medicare cost for drugs remains and the Congress has tried every procedural trick in the book to block changes to the status quo.

    • lexi001

      Really David, just ignore what the article was all about and continue to say the same things that keep being repeated. Don’t worry about what or who got us into this. Let’s just blame the entire downfall of this country in 3 years on this one man. Make sense? Obviously to many out there, indeed it does.

    • metrognome3830

      Are you and ncdthree related? Why don’t you get together with ncd and work with him to save the country. Or do you and he/she feel that the way to improve the lot of the rest of us is to denigrate everyone and everything while accomplishing nothing positive.

  • tljanssen

    Dubya is beyond psychotherapy, he needs a lobotomy.

  • clarenceswinney

    BE FAIR. BUSH BUDGETS INCREASED SPENDING BY 92% AND DEBT BY 112%.
    DEJA VU REAGAN 80% INCREASE IN SPENDING AND 180% INCREASE IN DEBT
    Reagan got us involved in 5 foreign conflicts Bush in just two.Reagan 8 budgets were over 7000B. 1930-1980 we spent 6066B. Quite a jump!
    Bush got an 1830B budget and took to 3500B
    Bush got 5780B of debt and took to 11,900B

    Tax cuts-two wars-part d
    Under Bush new Tax Spend Borrow top10% got almost all of increase of income.
    Bush inherited a Peace On Earth and go us a Hell on Earth
    clarence swinney olduglymeanhonest

  • 1AmericanHoney27

    How I long for the days that President Clinton ran the White House, before disaster struck. In my opinion the law should be changed so that he’d be allowed to hold office again. A Clinton/ Obama ticket or an Obama/Clinton ticket is the answer…. If enough people stood up and spoke loud we would have our country back in Democratic Black instead of Republican Red………

  • washbag

    So Turd Blossom marches the pinhead out one more time in hopes that someone might actually be listening, but this time it’s all for naught. In eight short years this guy and his misguided policies have changed this nation and most of the rest of the free world forever. While people in this country struggle to survive and people in the rest of the world are reeling from the fraud that the U.S. perpertrated upon them , we hear the new GOP candidate selling the same old baloney.
    This time we won’t take no for an answer and we won’t be misled by “swiftboat” lies at the last minute. If you want to see some real change , give President Obama four years of campaign free time in office and you WILL see meaningfull direction from the Democrats. Lets start now down the road to prosperity.

  • ncdthree

    I am so saddened by the utter lack of understanding typical Americans have of even simple concepts. The author of this spin piece/propaganda passed off as news is no different. Far too many of the masses simply repeat these factually-flawed ideas to each other enough to the point of believing it as fact.

    That’s what happens when you spend the majority of each day glued to a little screen on a phone or computer, living in that virtual world, and allowing the opinions of a select few to manipulate and dictate your thoughts and beliefs. How else do you explain a country full of people who place things like details of their many favorite TV shows or sports heroes in higher regard than those of the relationships with their family members or children, or other more important aspects of their lives. Most of you couldn’t separate the real from the virtual in your worlds…much less separate fact from fiction in it.

    It’s nearly unbelievable how far from the truth most of these comments are. You all need to disconnect from the “Matrix” world you’re living in…and look around the real one for a while.

    • lexi001

      It’s interesting that you seem to be glued to the same “little screen”. I make it my business to read the “spin” from each side and believe me, know most of it is just that. However, how anyone can argue that 8 years of Bush didn’t bring us to the brink of disaster is what saddens me. And that is a “simple concept”.

      • ncdthree

        Thanks for proving my point. The sad thing is…you’ll probably never know how far off from reality you really are. Good luck to you.

        • kevins198

          So clue me in. Tell me in real terms exactly how was Bush a good president.

    • metrognome3830

      Well, aren’t we just the little Mr./Ms. Superior. I’m sure the world is waiting breathlessly for you to step in and correct everything. Please, instead of just being a snarky asshole, why don’t you write your own article telling us what you would do to save our country from all the rest of us small-minded, ignorant, low-brow peasants that understand nothing that those of your superior intellect know. It’s your patriotic duty to lead us out of the darkness, O, Great One.

  • William Deutschlander

    I assume we aretalking about the G W Bush & Republican TAX CUT that created the G W Bush & Republican NATIONAL DEBT as well as the G W Bush & Republican GREAT RECESSION.

    Frankly there is no other Honest way to frame those three DISASTERS!

    GW Bush & Republicans you created them, you own them!

  • why are you ignoring the facts? grandpaw bush was a strong supporter of hitler, his legasy is what we are living with now. from the murder of our leaders to the destruction of our rights, you can find a bush behind every bush.

  • Denial is not just a river in Egypt. Perhaps he would feel better if the Bush tax cuts could be pinned on someone else, but they are his and they will always be so. I know that the job makes old men out of former Presidents before their time, but it seemed to me that he has aged a great deal since leaving office. When looking back on his tax policies I wonder if Bush thinks of the debate over the second round of cuts. You know, when he asked why we were doing this again and the VP told him we won the election, it’s out time and Reagan proved deficits don’t matter. How’s that working out for ya America?

  • ncdthree

    Geez…I suggest that some of you go read his entire statement. I’m not defending the guy, but the context in which he made the statement is being completely distorted and repainted with a subjective coat of opinion.

    He didn’t say he wished they didn’t bear his name because he doesn’t believe in them anymore/they were bad/etc., he said it because he feels they are simply being targeted/ because his name is attached to them…and for no other reason.

  • As president, he was seen by many as incompitent and arrogant. I think he stll is and doesn’t have a clue as to why anyone would hold such a view.

  • Since the Bushes never liked Romney, I’m sure the Bushes are trying to sabatoge his election and will wait until 2016 to vet a better (or what they think is a better candidate) for POTUS. Funny how he all of sudden just popped up out of nowhere. Hmmmm…..

  • I am surprised he put this much thought into something he said.

  • jim adams

    You’re missing the point. Rove and Co. promised 30 years of Republican Rule if they followed his prescriptions …. this involved fiscal Brinkmanship that would bring the US to the edge of economic collapse and– with Republicans in power and dominating both branches of Congress, they could finally, finally, finally get rid of all those pesky programs that Republicans have been railing and voting against since the ’30s — like Social Security, any programs that support the poor or middle class (like Medicare, Medicaid, Welfare, public housing, unemployment), public schools, etc., etc.

    Their chosen modus operandi was to spend, spend, spend. First, they cut government revenues. Then they started two wars. Bush spent huge sums outside of congressional approval. Do you have any idea how hard it is to spend a couple trillion dollars in less than a decade? That 8 years of spend and borrow is all the more amazing in that Democrats didn’t hold their feet to the fire, saying that Republicans used to pride ;themselves as being fiscally conservative rather than the largest profligate spendthrifts ever. They spent down the Clinton surplus, and did everything they could to spend us into a huge deficit.

    We have been flimflammed worse than Bernie Madoff ever flimflammed us. The one piece of luck we had was the meltdown of 2008 that happened BEFORE Obama became president. It wasn’t supposed to happen until after the election so — if a Democrat were elected, Repubs could blame Dems (it happened on your watch), and if a Republican were elected, they could declare austerity and cuts to get rid of all those pesky programs Republicans (still) don’t like.

    Remember when Obama first came into the Presidency? There was a Republican blitz accusing him of causing the meltdown AND the deficit. And they have been trying since Obama was elected to get back to the Rove prescription of 30 years of Republican rule.

    What i wish is that Taibbi or Mother Jones, or the Atlantic would spin this out in full. I’m not an investigative reporter, and i would really, really like to see one or more top caliber investigative reporters take this and run with it.

  • Steve Dickheiser

    “Not only should the tax cuts be named after him. So should the deficit and the debt.” Tough and hard things to revive from. Not only these but also the wars should also bare the Bush name. And also so should all the American deaths and crippling(S) that go along with the Bush Wars and that major debt they (he) incurred be on his soul, if he still has one. He so viciously lied to all of us to have his WARS. The man is morally bankrupt. I remember so clearly during a campaign debate, for his second term, he said “I have no regrets from my first term”. The man is morally bankrupt.

  • Steve Dickheiser

    Let’s all help fix the damage caused by the BUSH tax breaks for the Wealthy-ONLY. All Americans should pay their fair share. I see voting against the upcoming Buffett tax adjustment, in Congress for a vote I think next week, as voting for those who can afford to pay less (because they have the money for the loopholes) and voting against those who can’t afford to have their taxes greatly lowered. If you AIN’T mega wealthy why would you vote against your own best interests? The UN-Wealthy will have to make up the difference by paying higher taxes just because they can’t afford to have their taxes lowered. As it stands now no one benefits more from Capital Gains tax more than those who can afford huge capital gains and that is just one example – look at Romney’s taxes with all the loopholes he can afford.

    Tell your Congressmen to vote for fairness equally for all and that should include demanding the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy to expire this year. The deficit reduction will greatly benefit us with the Bush Tax breaks eliminated so it, along with the Buffet plan, should go into effect as soon as possible.

  • Obama is maintaining a decorum giving a cover to the misdeeds of the Repubs while creating the biggest deficit thru their policies which resulted in the extraordinary and grave depression and vanishing of deficits. The Repubs won’t even acknowledge the grace but continue to pour scorn on Obama”s policies and mr Bush joined in the chorus. They can’t beat the truth with their lies.

  • bigspender7

    With GWB’s countless missteps as president, he’s worried about being remembered for the tax cuts? Sheeesh. You’d think he’d want to have people’s memories erased as to his selecting Dick Cheney as VP or something significant like that.

  • Is there any doubt left that George W. Bush was the worst President ever? If people voted in their own self interest the GOP would not win another election for 200 yrs. Are you listening Kansas?

  • rustacus21

    … as well as a Liberal/Progressive majority to bring us a prosperity, peace, security & environmentally sustainable WORLD we were just barely on the edge of turning into another 40 – PLUS years free of Conservative/Republican mayhem… Remember, a President can’t get ANYTHING done w/out the support of a coherent, sane & SUPPORTIVE Congress!!!

  • rustacus21

    I was discussing this very thing recently w/a Conservative friend, who hated Clinton (when in office), but now understands what we, of ‘sounder’ judgment knew all along – THIS President cared for the nation, it’s people & the world, better than we deserve. To have turned on him & the opportunities his sheer executive genius offered, we may in fact deserve the hell we’ve been thru, in order to realize, Presidents like that come only – MAYBE once in a lifetime. & to think, Conservatives continually insult him by making comparisons to Reagan. There’s no comparison at all!!! Reagan’s W.H. supported the rich exclusively. The Clinton W.H. brought prosperity to ALL Americans…

  • Shows that he got his MBA by Daddy paying for it. The man has screwed up every financial thing he has tried to do. Only this time was a lulu and we are all paying for it. There will be a special place in the afterlife just for him.

  • Yeah, bad old Bush, nasty of him to have the wealthier not pay WAY more than other Americans. Obama needs their money more than ever now that he’s gotten us so damn deep in debt, and he needs more to spend. Yeah, the Federal Government needs MORE money, see how well they solve our problems. Maybe if we tax everybody lots more and spend lots more, all our problems will be solved. Brilliant!

  • We tried tax and spend did not quite work. We tried barrow and spend, trickle down did not work. How about, we try print and spend. As a bucket of water gets holes in it, the more holes it gets the more water is needed poured back in the top to keep it full. You say inflation, been going on as long as I’ve been around. As the value of money went down the rich man stands to lose a lot more. 10% of a 100. is 10. 10% of 1,000,000. is 100,000. the math is simple.