Dan Bartlett (left), Bush's former communications director, admits to the political and economic gamesmanship that surrounded the Bush tax cuts:
“We knew that, politically, once you get it into law, it becomes almost impossible to remove it. That’s not a bad legacy. The fact that we were able to lay the trap does feel pretty good, to tell you the truth.”
...by moving up the expiration date by nine months, the Bush team saved $100 billion and made the bill’s deficit-busting impact appear smaller.
As an added bonus, the “sunset” provision, in Beltway-speak, was a political time bomb: At some point in the way distant future, Democrats could be accused of raising taxes if they tried to undo the Bush breaks and return to Clinton-era levels of taxation.
That Republican spin was adopted by Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY), who stated, "This is existing tax policy. It’s been in place for ten years."
David Di Martino of The Hill expressed his outrage at Bartlett's smug satisfaction:
Bartlett feels pretty good. Isn’t that terrific? Here we are, dealing with the worst economy in decades, the worst deficits in history, crippling debt to competitors like China — all brought to America under President Bush’s brand of leadership and economic wisdom, and Bartlett feels pretty good about it. Heck, he’s bragging about it!
...For the millions of Americans who lost their jobs while Bartlett had his in the White House, I’m sure it’s comforting to know that they were part of the plan to “trap” President Obama and the Democrats with this economic calamity.
As a final insult to the economic injury inflicted upon America by Dan’s “trap,” the Republicans insist the only way out of the “trap” is deficit-exploding tax breaks for the richest 1.6 percent to the tune of $800 billion.