Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Losing Jesse


"I would not have voted for [President Bush's] tax cut, based on what I know. . . . There is no doubt that the people at the top who need a tax break the least will get the most benefit. . . . Too often presidents do things that don't end up helping the people they should be helping, and their staffs won't tell them their actions stink on ice."

-- Former senator Jesse Helms (R-N.C.), in a recent interview with Business North Carolina magazine.

And, I have to say I'm really a bit puzzled by this Bruce Bartlett article in NRO. Bartlett may or may not be right that an economic meltdown is in the cards, but he is correct that a tax increase of some sort, and a fairly large one, is inevitable. He concludes the article with:

The package will have to reduce the deficit by at least two percentage points of GDP annually to meaningfully affect financial markets and restore confidence, and it is unrealistic to think that this can all be done on the spending side. Therefore, taxes will be on the table. Voters need to ask themselves which party they prefer to manage this process when the time comes.

Now, Bartlett is a conservative so one imagines he has to mean that we'd better have the Republicans in charge when the time comes. Or, maybe not. Bartlett's not a complete idiot, and he has to be aware of the fact that it's the Republicans who have gotten us into this mess. They could have had a nice big tax cut and not brought us to what he thinks is the brink of a financial disaster. And, he has to be smart enough to realize that the vast majority of voters are going to be screwed by any Republican plan for "revenue enhancement."

(via ragout)