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realclearworld

Read my lips…

The other day Charlie Crist compared himself to Ronald Reagan, saying that if he's a RINO then Reagan must have been a RINO too because Reagan was pragmatic. I explained how Reagan was was in fact an ideologue who also knew how to prioritize and negotiate to get what he wanted most. If anything, Charlie is closer to George H.W. Bush. Bush the elder famously promised during his campaign in 1988, "read my lips, no new taxes."

Of course, once he was president his "moderate" self came out and he bent to the Democrats and raised taxes despite the fact that government revenues had increased after the Reagan tax cuts. In other words, the guy just didn't believe in conservative economic policy.

Well Charlie Crist similarly made a pledge against raising taxes. One which he immediately broke when he signed a $1 a pack tax on cigarettes into law. Now you may not be a smoker but a tax is a tax. And what about when it's not cigarettes anymore? What about when it's beer or wine? Burgers and Pizza? The fact is that when faced with a budget shortfall Charlie didn't propose ideas to grow the state's economy and create jobs and to shrink the size of the state's government. No, he chose to tax.

Say no to Charlie H.W. Crist and his tax and spend ways. Support Marco Rubio and donate to his campaign today.

9 comments to Read my lips…

  • Alley Kat

    I am a happy supporter of Marco Rubio, but I would be remiss if I would not admit that I often get a queasy fear in my belly that Marco could possibly turn out like so many other politicians we have emphatically supported.

    Now, if I could make my fantasies materialize (it's been a long time since elementary school) I would go straight up to Marco, hand him a Bible and ask him to pledge to stick to his principles after election, no matter what. Under those conditions, we'll take ya to the White House, baby!

    Time will tell......

  • Alley Kat,

    I had a conference call with Marco Rubio and other bloggers yesterday. During the Q&A, where we all got to ask Marco anything we wanted, I basically took my turn to mention exactly what you just mentioned.

    Having posted a call for questions for Marco the other day, I took your response and posed it to him almost verbatim. Not only did he assure us that he would stick to his ideals and stand by his principles, but he stated that this very same question is what he asked the most.

  • drillanwr

    Marco Rubio's "Stimulus Bomb" starts TODAY!

    Get some!

    http://tinyurl.com/yz3n9t6

  • ojc

    When I heard Crist call Reagan a RINO, I cringed all over and couldn't believe it; Crist has in gall what Obama has in arrogance. I not only support Marco, but plan to volunteer for his campaign; we can only go on what we now have in front of us -- if he changes in the future, we'll kick him out. But for now, we have to fight with what we have. It is what it is.

  • Paco Mermela

    I have to take issue with the criticism of George H.W. Bush here and the implication that he was and/or is a RINO. Bush's foreign policy decisions secured the U.S.'s preeminent position as the world's only superpower during a time of great geopolitical upheaval. He stood up to dictators and terrorists alike from Panama to Iraq. The worst that can be said about his Presidency -- his decision to acquiesce to Congressional Democrats' demands that some of the budget balancing be accomplished by tax increases as well as spending cuts -- came as part of his effort to curb runaway budget deficits left over from our winning the cold war while still carrying on LBJ's welfare state. At bottom, he is a man who believed America could not remain as the leader of the Free World if it continued relentlessly to borrow money from other countries, regardless of how we spent that money. Stop me if that problem sounds familiar. There was not a man in the 20th century who was better qualified to hold, or who did a greater service to, the Office of the Presidency than GHWB. Put it this way: I hope Marco Rubio can be half as good as our next Senator, as GHWB was as our President.

  • Paco,

    Take issue all you like. The fact is that Bush Sr. was a one term president because he broke a pledge he made to the people who elected him to office. He also broke away from policies which are the bulwark of conservative economic thought. You generally raise more tax revenue by growing the economy than by raising taxes. Remember when he appeared out of touch with Joe Main Street because he was amazed by grocery store UPC scanners? In comparison to Reagan, Bush was surprisingly weak. And let's not forget the unfinished job he left in Iraq, in a way damning his son's presidency.

    I don't doubt that George Bush is a good man. He just wasn't a conservative light in our party. And that's what I want more of. More Reagans and Rubios, fewer Bushes and Crists.

  • Paco Mermela

    Henry,

    Those are not facts--they are opinions. Below are some more:

    GHWB was a one-term president because the economy sucked leading up to the election. Had the economy not hit the skids in 1990-91, and if unemployment hadn't jumped in 1991 when Corporate America realized that they could slow stock price free fall by engaging in massive layoffs, GHWB would have cruised to re-election, whether he raised taxes or not.

    GHWB did not leave an "unfinished" job in Iraq. He did precisely what GWB should have done. I have an anthill in my backyard. About ever three years, the colony builds back up and ants start to crawl around and annoy me. So when that happens, I put some poison on the hill, and that takes care of that for a few years. Is that "unfinished" also? Should I instead stick my head into the anthill, thrash aroujnd in there until I kill the queen, and then attempt to find an alternate means for organization of the ant colony? Because essentially that's what we have done and are doing in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have confused "war" in this country with "nation-building."

    I hate taxes. They are a drag on the economy and, perversely, a punishment for economic self-betterment. But, more importantly, they are the clearest and most-direct connection that most law-abiding citizens will ever have to the coercive and destructive power of the state. To paraphrase both Daniel Webster and the Supreme Court, the power to tax is the power to destroy.

    "You generally raise more tax revenue by growing the economy than by raising taxes." This sounds like the "deficits don't matter" line of reasoning. Your proposition may be true over the course of years. And it works as long as you grow the economy faster than you grow spending, which has not been working out so well recently. But it suggests a cavalier attitude toward deficits that frankly seems to be a wealthy Wall Street financier's way of looking at how we as a country pay the bills of an overreaching state.

    Tempting as it is to defer pain, I think responsible government demands that we inject a healthy dose of austerity into this massive spend-a-thon that is the federal bureaucracy. Otherwise, tax cuts combined with programmed entitlement spending increases are just ships passing in the night.

    Is it too old fashioned to believe in the simple adage that debts ought to be paid? Is it silly to believe that, if you run up a bill, you must pay it when it comes due? And you don't "pay it off" by borrowing more which you will, in turn, pay off next quarter by borrowing yet more, ad infinitum. You pay the debt by working it off, and eating Ramen, and canceling that vacation, and mending your socks, and getting a second job, if you have to. It's a lesson most middle class college kids learn pretty quickly after they get their first credit card. It's a lesson some in this country have never learned.

    When do we shut down the Ponzi scheme that is deficit spending? Do we wait until 50% of the federal budget is debt service? 60%? 70%? Have you ever wondered what our kids' tax rates will be? I'll bet it'll be higher than ours.

    If we ignore the bill, it will not go away. Government entitlement programs, sooner or later, will result in higher taxes. And sooner or later, those taxes have to be paid.

    There is no way around it: debt is pain. You can delay it, but it will eventually catch up with you. We do the United States a great disservice by trying to attenuate the natural consequences of our actions. Divorcing actions from their natural consequences seems to me to be a very "un-conservative" thing to do.

    I have no idea where the Governor stands on all of this. I have no idea where Rubio stands on this. But what I am sure about is that I would rather have GHWB in the White House right now than any living politician on either side of the aisle.

  • Alley Kat

    Val, gracias mi hermanito, you're da man! I so appreciate that you posed the question to him and that he responded the way he did. It's good that we're all aware that we're voting based on ideology, not genealogy, but gosh darn, I'm proud of that boy!
    Can't wait for that one-on-one interview...:-)

  • Sorry Paco,

    Fact, Bush had one of the highest approval ratings of any modern president a year before the election. Yes, the economy hit the skids and that largely falls out of the control of the president but what the president does control is the spin about the economy and he was very inadequate at delivering a message that convinced the American people that he was serious about it. And by reneging on a no new tax pledge he infuriated plenty of people, many of whom joined Ross Perot in the reform party.

    I never said deficits don't matter. Don't put words in my mouth. Taxation is one of the clearest examples of the law of diminishing returns. Want to raise revenue, cut taxes and grow the economy. You won't tax your way to prosperity.

    Your anthill analogy is ridiculous. Saddam Hussein murdered thousands of his own people when we left the job unfinished. He kicked weapons inspectors out of Iraq, violated the no fly zones, and generally spat in the face of the US for 9 years. Maybe when one of the ants in your backyard starts trying to produce fissionable material your analogy would work.

    As for the rest of your comment, I didn't read it because it's probably more of the same. Bottom line. GWB was a not noteworthy in any real regard. He inherited a steady ship and didn't run it aground. But he wasn't great. Otherwise the Governor of Arkansas wouldn't have beat him in a race that was his to lose. Not strong.