Making a rare post-presidential policy address, former President George W. Bush said he wishes the “Bush tax cuts” had someone else’s name attached to them because “if they were called somebody else’s tax cuts, they’d probably be less likely to be raised.”
The so-called Bush tax cuts, enacted during Bush’s first term between 2001 and 2003, are set to expire at the end of the year and are sure to be a campaign issue in November.
The former president was speaking in New York at an event that also bears his name, the George W. Bush Presidential Center’s conference on “Tax Policies For 4% Growth,” at the New York Historical Society.
He said he rarely comments publicly on policy because, “I don’t think it’s good for our country to undermine our president and I don’t intend to do so,” Bush said, according to Forbes.
But Bush had a pointed message about tax policy: “If you raise taxes on the so-called rich,” he said, “you’re really raising taxes on the job creators.”
Bush’s call came on the same day that President Obama was in Florida to pitch what the White House calls “tax fairness,” raising taxes on people making more than a $1 million a year. The White House supports the Buffett Rule, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett, which would ensure that Americans earning $1 million or more in adjusted gross income pay at least 30 percent in taxes. The Obama campaign has made clear it will use the issue of “tax fairness” as a political bludgeon against likely Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
In addition, the president’s top campaign adviser said on MSNBC today that Obama will not allow a continuation of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. He agreed to extend all the tax cuts in 2010 just before Democrats lost control of the House and Senate.
“You may not believe it Joe, but the president’s going to win in November and we are not going to extend those tax cuts for the wealthy and I’m looking forward to coming back here in the future and taking a big ‘I told you so,’” Axelrod told MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.