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June 15, 2012

Those tax increases for spending cuts Jeb Bush advocates? His dad says it was a mistake

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Just can't let this one go.

Jeb Bush is in the news the last couple of days for criticizing his own Republican Party on various things, expressing his thoughts that the party has become too radical, and that his own father and even Ronald Reagan wouldn't recognize today's conservative movement.

And, specifically, for repeating his own opinion that a compromise that consisted of some tax increases in exchange for spending cuts would be a good idea. When asked if he thought a 10:1 ratio of spending cuts for tax increases would be a good idea, he said that he thought it would be.

It's more than ironic that Jeb, about whom many of us (including me) have said things like "that's the Bush I would like to have seen in the White House," is essentially endorsing the very strategy that ended his father's presidency, damaged the conservative brand, hurt the economy, and paved the way for Bill Clinton to become president. 

Apparently this is a Bush family pattern.

What people don't seem to remember, however, is that his own father, George H.W. Bush, later said that his tax increase compromise was a mistake.

"I'm very disappointed with Congress. I thought this one compromise--and it was a compromise--would result in no more tax increases . . . "

"I thought it would result in total control of domestic discretionary spending. And now we see Congress talking about raising taxes again."

"So I'm disappointed, and yes, given all of that, yes, a mistake," Bush said.

Bush said he now believes the compromise with Congress, which put a cap on government spending, "probably wasn't worth it."

. . . 

Bush on Monday told a Georgia columnist he made a mistake by agreeing to the tax increase in the 1990 budget agreement.

. . . 

If he had the 1990 budget deal "to do over, I wouldn't do it," Bush said.

I agree. The difference is that many of us, including IPI, knew at the time it was a mistake. And that Jeb Bush still doesn't think so is amazing, and pretty discrediting for him.


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