Thursday, February 17, 2005

Bush and Social Security taxes

This morning's headline on Drudge linked to a story hinting that President may raise the payroll cap on social security taxes as one way to solve the crisis:
Asked directly, Bush said he would not bar raising the $90,000 cap, although he does not want to see the payroll tax rate go up.

"The one thing I'm not open-minded about is raising the payroll tax rate. And all the other issues go on the table," Bush said in the interview, according to an account in Wednesday's New Haven (Conn.) Register.

White House spokesman Trent Duffy said raising the cap on Social Security taxes is just one option among many being advocated.

"Just because he said it was an option doesn't mean he embraced it," Duffy added.

It might not be called a tax increase, but it amounts to the same thing.

I don't know if this a trial balloon that the White House is using to gauge public reaction. If so, we must respond immediately and very negatively. Republicans have fought every tax increase since Bush I's disastrous 1990 backtrack on his "read my lips" promise. For fifteen years, Republicans have treated tax increases as the poison that they are. There is no possibility of explaining away or apologizing for a tax increase during the next election. James Lileks once wrote that the worst campaign speech begins with the words, "Let me explain why I raised your taxes." Time and time again, tax increases have been voted down overwhelmingly on referenda - even in democratic areas. Time and time again, politicians who vote for tax increases are defeated at the polls.

If Bush agrees or acquiesces to any kind of tax increase (no matter how it is labeled) there will be no possibility of electing a Republican president in 2008. Bush will also jeopardize Republican majorities in the House and Senate. We may very well be about to throw in the towel this year. Get used to the idea of another eight years of President Clinton. The MSM/DNC is already sharpening its knives in anticipation of this blunder - not because it opposes taxes, but because it will relish the opportunity to split the Republicans from their base.

What is most disturbing is the relative silence of the blogosphere about this issue. I am afraid this silence stems from the blogosphere's relative inexperience on domestic/economic issues. Even if you think you don't have enough knowledge of economics to speak out on this issue, don't let that bother you. It doesn't take a genius to oppose tax increases.

If we don't make noise against this idea now, it won't matter what progress we make in the war. President Hillary Clinton will simply undo that progress starting January 2009.
Friday update

Sean Hannity spoke about this issue yesterday on his radio program. He suggested that this might be a trial balloon. He said, "count me out." More of us must do this.

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