I wonder what George Bush the Senior thinks about the current kerfuffle Inside the Beltway over hiking the debt ceiling and the federal budget. Prez O said yesterday during his presser that additional revenue — tax increases and the elimination of certain corporate benefits — had to be part of any debt-reduction package. The Republicans said about taxes: no way.
Kind of an interesting policy and political debate with both parties heading in opposite directions.
And many of the newly elected conservative members of Congress got their tickets punched by voters back home by pledging not to raise taxes, if not cut them along with reduced government spending across the board.
George Bush the Senior as he launched his bid for the White House issued the great TV sound bite: “Read my lips, no new taxes.”
Alas, he caved — and became a one-term president.
Here’s from the NYT article “In Deficit Plan, Taxes Must Rise, President Warns“:
President Obama pressured Republicans on Wednesday to accept higher taxes as part of any plan to pare down the federal deficit, bluntly telling lawmakers that they “need to do their job” and strike a deal before the United States risks defaulting on its debt.
Declaring that an agreement is not possible without painful steps on both sides, Mr. Obama said that his party had already accepted the need for substantial spending cuts in programs it had long championed, and that Republicans must agree to end tax breaks for oil and gas companies, hedge funds and other corporate interests.
In a 67-minute news conference, Mr. Obama cast the budget battle as a tug of war between the interests of the rich — like owners of corporate jets, who he said get generous tax breaks — and those of the middle class, the elderly and children.
Directly challenging Republican leaders, Mr. Obama said, “Everybody else has been willing to move off their maximalist position — they need to do the same.”
At the same time, Mr. Obama, under assault frfom Republicans on the campaign trail for an unemployment rate that remains above 9 percent, asked voters to understand that the economic recovery would take time but said that Washington, even in its current financial straits, could still do more to help. He expressed support for extending a reduction in payroll taxes for an extra year, providing loans for road and bridge-building and approving trade pacts that could help spur exports.
While the president expressed hope for a budget deal before the government’s borrowing authority expires in early August, he scolded Republican lawmakers for putting off hard decisions until the 11th hour, saying that his daughters did not procrastinate that way with their schoolwork.
“Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time,” the president said, in a tone of rising exasperation. “They don’t wait until the night before. They’re not pulling all-nighters.”
The House speaker, John A. Boehner, flatly rejected Mr. Obama’s call for new tax revenues, saying the “president’s remarks ignore legislative and economic reality.”
In a toughly worded statement, Mr. Boehner said the House would vote to raise the debt limit, as the White House has demanded, only if the administration agreed to a deal that contained deep spending cuts and no tax increases.
“Read my lips: no new taxes.”