Bush on Taxes: Wrong, Part One
Jennifer Loven writes for the Associated Press: "Each one of the president’s recent political speeches has offered new zingers aimed at making more ominous the specter of Democrats in charge of the House or Senate, either on the subject of tax cuts or fighting terrorism. On Tuesday, Bush singled out for special emphasis the gradual doubling of the child tax credit from $500 to $1,000, one of several cuts passed during his administration with expiration dates.
"‘If you’re sitting around a dinner table and there’s two children, your taxes just went up $1,000 if they take control,’ the president said, continuing to do the math for three children, or four.
“But he didn’t get it quite right. Bush skimmed past the fact that the child tax credit is not yet $1,000 and doesn’t reach that level until 2010.”
“He also ignored that many Democrats now say they want to retain that tax cut.”
In fact, Democrats say they want to extend that particular tax credit – so it covers low-income families.
Here’s the text of Bush’s speech yesterday.
Bush on Taxes: Wrong, Part Two
Bush also claimed that his tax cuts have sent tax revenues soaring. That’s wrong, too.
Here’s Bush: "The Democrats said tax cuts would cause the deficit to explode. Well, the truth is that tax cuts led to economic growth, and that growth has helped send tax revenues soaring. And, as a result, the deficit has been cut in half three years ahead of schedule.
“The Democrats have made a lot of predictions. Matter of fact, I think they may be measuring the drapes. If their electoral predictions are as reliable as their economic predictions, November 7th is going to be a good day for the Republicans.”
But as Lori Montgomery wrote in The Washington Post last week, the Bush administration’s own economists are not actually claiming that its tax cuts have even paid for themselves – not to mention led to increased revenue.
"The economy has grown and tax receipts have risen at historic rates over the past two years, but the Bush tax cuts played a small role in that process, [economists] said, and cost the Treasury more in lost taxes than it gained from the resulting economic stimulus. . . .
“Robert Carroll, deputy assistant Treasury secretary for tax analysis, said neither the president nor anyone else in the administration is claiming that tax cuts alone produced the unexpected surge in revenue. ‘As a matter of principle, we do not think tax cuts pay for themselves,’ Carroll said.”
As Jonathan Chait recently asked in a Los Angeles Times opinion column: “[I]f Bush’s own economists say his tax cuts caused revenue to drop . . . then how can he continually get away with insisting the opposite?”
As Jonathan Chait recently asked in a Los Angeles Times opinion column: “[i]f Bush’s own economists say his tax cuts caused revenue to drop . . . then how can he continually get away with insisting the opposite?”
Why should economic policy be exempt?
Maybe he should stand in front of the treasury with a “mission accomplished” banner.