Ed Driscoll

The Dionne Amnesia

Ed Morrissey looks at E.J. Dionne’s latest column and writes that “either Dionne has a bad memory or has slipped into uncharacteristic disingenuity” in his recounting Bush #41’s raising taxes in 1990:


Dionne leaves out two important points. The first fact omitted is that the tax increase in 1990 resulted in a sudden recession, which the Gulf War made worse by driving up oil costs temporarily. In fact, the increased rates flattened tax receipts; it did not result in any significant increase to the Treasury.

Second and more to the point, the Democrats with whom the President consulted and compromised used his efforts to castigate him as unfaithful to his promises in the 1992 general election. I find it hard to imagine that Dionne cannot recall the “Read My Lips” commercials that the Clinton campaign used to devastating effect in that election, which showed Bush promising to hold the line on taxes — and blamed him entirely for raising them later. The Democrats stabbed Bush 41 in the back for working with them, and that’s the lesson that 43 learned from the experience. Compromise with Democrats, and they will use it to attack at the first opportunity.

Read the rest.

Update: More thoughts on Dionne, here.

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