from Follow the Money

More borrowing, on the other hand, is always a political winner

February 18, 2005

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Blog posts represent the views of CFR fellows and staff and not those of CFR, which takes no institutional positions.

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Budget, Debt, and Deficits

Deficits really don’t matter, at least in some circles

Bush said earlier this week that he would not rule out paying those transition costs by raising the current wage cap of $90,000 that can be taxed for retirement.

On Thursday, a number of conservatives said that directly contradicts Bush’s earlier promise that he would refuse to raise taxes.

"It’s exactly the wrong way to go," said Richard Lessner, executive director of the American Conservative Union, which is hosting the annual Conservative Political Action Conference that started Thursday. Attendees were buzzing about the concession by a president whose tax-cutting agenda has made him a hero.

"If you’re looking to rally the American people around a reform plan, you don’t lead off with a tax increase or benefit cuts," Lessner said. "Those are both political losers."

Texas sized private accounts (4 percentage points of payroll, once they are phased in), no tax increases (see Cheney’s remarks) and no benefit cuts until far in the future. That means lots of borrowing -- if Social Security reform ever gets off the ground.

I have a more substantive post in the works, but I am still a bit surprised at just how fiscally unconservative conservatives now are.

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Budget, Debt, and Deficits

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