“pablo . . . whatta ya got?”

Despite somewhat encouraging remarks from Bush in The Price of Loyalty by the former Wall Street Journal reporter Ron Suskind, which recounts the experience of Paul OíNeill, George W. Bushís first Treasury Secretary, like the following:

“Wonít the top-rate people benefit the most from eliminating the double taxation of dividends? Didnít we already give them a break at the top?”

it is passages like the following that really trouble me:

Shortly before he was fired, he (Paul OíNeill) confronted Cheney about the Administrationís latest proposal to cut taxes by another six hundred and seventy-four billion dollars over ten years, pointing out that the country was “moving toward a fiscal crisis.” The Vice-President stopped him. ďReagan proved deficits donít matter,Ē he said. “We won the midterms. This is our due.” In fact, Reagan didnít prove anything of the kind. Early in his first term, Congress was forced to adopt emergency tax increases and spending cuts to restrain the ballooning budget shortfall. Despite this remedial action, it wasnít until the early nineties, when George Bush Senior and Bill Clinton raised taxes, that the nationís finances were put in proper order, opening the way to the longest economic expansion on record.

[The New Yorker]

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