Dick Cheney: Thinking Deficit

"Shortly before he was fired [in December, 2002], [treasury secretary Paul O'Neill] confronted Dick Cheney about the Administration's latest proposal to cut taxes by another six hundred and seventy-four billion dollars over ten years, pointing out that the country was 'moving toward a fiscal crisis.' The Vice-President stopped him. 'Reagan proved deficits don't matter,' he said. 'We won the midterms. This is our due.'"

In fact, early in Reagan's first term, Congress was forced to adopt emergency tax increases and spending cuts to restrain the ballooning budget shortfall.

["What was destroyed for George W. Bush on that day (9/11) was all that came before, and he seemed to welcome the destruction as if it filled a great void," The New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch once remarked. "Afterward, he joked that he could now increase the national deficit. War, recession, national emergency, he said: 'Lucky me, I hit the trifecta.'" And in August 2004, Bush "explained" why high taxes on the rich don't work: "Really rich people," he said, "figure out how to dodge taxes anyway." (Daily Press, August 9th)]

[One historic evening in 1975, Jude Wannisky and Arthur Laffer got together in a bar with some other supply-side confederates and, in a moment of lubricated inspiration, drew what became known as the Laffer Curve (illustrating the theory that, if taxes rise beyond a certain level, they will discourage economic growth and actually reduce government revenues) on a bar napkin... belonging to Dick Cheney.]

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