How President Bush Got His Tax Bill

We have commented in the past on Robert Novak’s sometimes-questionable reliability, so take this for what it’s worth. But his account of how President Bush summoned Congressional leaders to the White House and dictated terms of the tax-cut compromise that was announced yesterday is fascinating.
I agree with the assessment that this represents a huge political victory for the President and for the conservative movement. With the tax cuts moved forward to this year (front-loaded, as they say in Washington), the bill eliminates the great defect of Bush’s original tax cut–the fact that most of the cuts were deferred for years. The $350 billion figure associated with the bill is meaningless, since it was achieved simply by sunsetting the bill’s provisions a few years down the line. The question then will be whether the Democrats have the political will or the the political muscle–after the 2004 elections–to reverse tax cuts that have already gone into effect, a much harder task than voiding prospective cuts that the voters have not yet experienced.


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