Bashing Tax Cuts &
Two topics today:
1) Wonder how the
media will react to any tax cut proposal from Bob Dole? Here are three
recent attacks on the idea and on supply-side economics.
2) It's not known
yet whether Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas will accept the on and
off and now on again invitation to speak to an 8th grade graduation on
June 10, but a NBC News reporter doesn't object to bashing his views.
On Friday night's (June 7) PBS Washington Week in Review this exchange
occurred among three of the panelists:
Alan Murray, Wall Street Journal Washington
Bureau Chief: "If there is one principle that Bob Dole has
steadfastly held to in the last two decades, it's been the notion that you
have to do deficit reduction before you do tax cuts. In 1982 he pushed
through a big tax increase to deal with the deficit. In 1985 there was
this dramatic midnight vote where the Republicans by one vote put through
a package of deficit reduction that included a cut in Social Security.
These things took considerable political courage on his part. This is
really Bob Dole's political character in a sense."
Elizabeth Arnold, NPR: "His legacy."
Murray: "It is his legacy and if he goes out
and grabs on to a bunch or irresponsible or oversized tax cuts he could
have a problem"
Tom Friedman, New York Times columnist: "Is
it even good politics. I mean they're just repealing the gas tax. How many
people are going out, I just got my 4.3 percent, I'm a Dole man now?"
the media have bought into the idea that Reagan's tax cuts, not soaring
spending, caused the deficit to increase in the 1980s. These recent quotes
show it's an attack reporters will use against any tax cut proposal.
From a May 28 Washington Post news story by Clay
Chandler that was caught by the MRC's Tim Graham: "Often, his [Dole]
condemnation of supply-side tax cuts has reflected the austerity of his
Dust Bowl origins. Dole dutifully helped steer President Reagan's tax cuts
through Congress in 1981, but he spent the next several years trying to
dam up the river of federal red ink that was largely created by that
May 26 Meet the Press, two days earlier, MRC analyst Clay Waters picked up
this question from Tim Russert to Steve Forbes and Senator Bill Bradley:
"Ross Perot has said that, repeatedly, that
giving a tax cut now is like giving candy to the electorate right before
the election. Senator you were in the Senate, and Mr. Forbes, you were
watching it very closely when Ronald Reagan was President for eight years.
Cut taxes, 25 percent. The deficit, with a Democratic Congress I should
add, went from sixty billion dollars when he took office to two-hundred
billion dollars when he left office. So we can cut taxes, but it seems to
drive up the deficit as well."
note that in interviewing John Kasich and Leon Panetta on Sunday June 9
Russert challenged each as to why their party's were considering a tax cut
given the huge debt and Medicare crisis. And, he noted that in the '80s
while Reagan cut taxes, Democrats who controlled Congress increased
spending. But, I think the quote above best reflects what he and his
colleagues really believe.
Friday's Washington Post "Reliable Source" column in the Style
section relayed this news about the political atmosphere in which actor
Danny Glover and Bob Herbert, a former NBC News reporter, feel
comfortable. The piece described the June 6 TransAfrica fundraising
dinner: "This year's honorees -- philanthropist Camille Cosby, actor
Danny Glover, New York Times columnist Bob Herbert and retired federal
judge A. Leon Higginbotham -- spoke mostly about domestic problems: Cosby
called for Africa Americans to pour more money into black-owned
businesses, and Higginbotham received a standing ovation for his
blistering rebuke of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas's rejection of
affirmative action. 'He has let us down profoundly,' said the judge."
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