October 11, 2006

Bush on Pelosi

President Bush is trying hard to inject tax issues into the November elections, in his own way. Speaking at a rally for a Republican House candidate in Georgia yesterday, here's what Bush had to say about would-be House Speaker Nancy Pelosi:
Recently, the top Democrat leader in the House made an interesting declaration. She said, "We love tax cuts." Given her record, she must be a secret admirer... It's not just the so-called tax cuts for the rich she opposes. When we cut taxes for everybody who pays income taxes, she voted against it. When we reduced the marriage penalty, she voted against it. When we cut taxes on small businesses, she voted against it. When we lowered the taxes for families with children, she voted against it. When we put the death tax on the road to extinction, she voted against it. Time and time again, she had an opportunity to show her love for tax cuts -- (laughter) -- and she voted, no.
While it's painful to waste even a sentence debunking such an argument-- IE, if she really loved tax cuts, she would have voted for mine--here it is:

Take the estate tax. Bush has been pretty clear from day one on what he wanted to do with it-- complete repeal. And Dems (including Pelosi) have said quite clearly they think reform, rather than repeal, would be smarter. So in April of 2001, when Congress was evaluating specific components of Bush's tax plan and put complete estate tax repeal before the House, Pelosi voted against it. Here's the roll call vote to prove it. But when Charlie Rangel introduced what most people saw as a better approach to estate tax reform-- increasing the estate exemption to $5 million to help ensure that only the very wealthiest estates would owe tax-- Pelosi voted for it. Again, here's the roll call vote.

Same thing on the marriage penalty, which had been voted on the month before. The Republican bill, embodying Bush's vision of "marriage penalty relief," was seen as unnecessarily expensive and poorly targeted by most Dems (including Pelosi), and they said so in this roll call vote. But again, Rangel had introduced a more sensible alternative, which Pelosi supported.
The sort of "analysis" of voting records the President is engaging in here is, sadly, par for the course in House and Senate races. But shouldn't we hold the President of the United States to at least a slightly higher standard?


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