Bush goes on tax attack

NY Times:

President Bush began a blistering new political offensive on Thursday, asserting that if Democrats won control of Congress from Republicans it would mean higher taxes, less money in the pockets of working families and damage to the economy.

The speech by Mr. Bush here, in which he belittled Democrats as “the party of high taxes,” signaled what Republicans described as a new phase of the White House’s fall campaign, as Republicans begin to combine their emphasis on national security with a tough new emphasis on the issue that unites them more than any other, taxes.

Mr. Bush’s offensive was backed up by a flood of television advertisements on behalf of Republican candidates.

“If they get control of the House of Representatives, they’ll raise your taxes, it will hurt our economy, and that’s why we’re not going to let them get control of the House of Representatives,” the president said at a fund-raising event at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for Gus Bilirakis, a Republican state representative running for Congress.

“The Democrats have made their position clear,” Mr. Bush said. “I want you to remember the last time they had control of the United States Congress back in 1993, they passed a massive tax increase.”

Mr. Bush’s words were echoed in advertisements that have been showing up on the airwaves, in mailings to voters’ homes and in e-mail sent to their computers. This new offensive reflects what Republicans have said is the power they see in the tax issue, in motivating both Republican base voters — who have seemed particularly dispirited this year — and independents.


Mr. Bush on Thursday presented a new set of numbers, saying that 95 percent of House Democrats voted against his tax cuts in 2003 and that 92 percent voted against extending his tax cuts this year.

Democrats said they did not fear the new assault and welcomed a fight on economic issues.

Mr. Brown, in Ohio, responded to a Republican advertisement with his own attack posted on his Web site. He criticized Mr. DeWine as supporting “tax breaks for the rich.”
The Democrat response seems pretty weak when you consider that the rich are paying a higher percentage of taxes now than they did before the cuts. When it comes to raising taxes, the Democrats have an expansive definition of "the rich" that includes most of the country.


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