Here’s some interesting news from just yesterday for those capable of learning from history: George H.W. Bush honored for courage with 1990 tax hikes, honoured by Democrats, that is:
Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush showed courage in breaking his “read my lips: no new taxes” campaign pledge to broker a 1990 budget compromise that may have cost him re-election two years later, the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation said on Sunday.
The organization honored the 41st U.S. president with its 2014 Profile in Courage Award, praising the Republican leader’s “decision to put country above party and political prospects” in the deal with congressional Democrats.
“America’s gain was President Bush’s loss,” Jack Schlossberg, grandson of former president John F. Kennedy and a member of the award committee, said during a ceremony at the library in Boston. . . .
In September 1990, two years into George H.W. Bush’s first term, the United States was saddled with a $200 billion budget deficit. Months of partisan wrangling over possible tax increases and spending cuts had ended in a stalemate.
Despite the potential political backlash, Bush announced a compromise with congressional Democrats that would cut $500 billion from the deficit in five years, in part by raising “luxury taxes” on items including yachts and pricey cars, among other tax hikes.
“The time for politics and posturing is over,” Bush said in an October 1990 speech. “The time to come together is now.”
The budget passed, but Bush’s concession on a tax increase rankled members of his party and stood at odds with his “no new taxes” campaign promise. He lost re-election to Democrat Bill Clinton in 1992.