Senator Tom Daschle attacked tax cuts blaming them for the recession (1/4/02).


Min. Leader Dick Gephardt: "I have not heard one Democrat say he or she wants to raise taxes." (1/7/02, US Newswire)


Senator Ted Kennedy proposes tax increases on the American people in a speech at the National Press Club (1/16/02)


"[In contrast with Sen. Kennedy] Bush seems more in tune with average Americans. Those surveyed in the IBD/TIPP poll say overwhelmingly tax cuts would be a smart move. Asked to rank possible policy actions to end the recession, 67% to 75% of those queried say tax cuts for individuals and businesses would be "very effective" or "somewhat effective" in stimulating economic growth" (Investors Business Daily, 1/17/02)


This week President Bush traveled the country to talk to Americans about his aggressive bipartisan economic growth agenda that creates jobs, helps unemployed workers get back to work, increases trade and lowers taxes.

Also this week, Senator Ted Kennedy unveiled his tax increase package that raises taxes by delaying marginal rate reductions and reinstating the death tax.

America\’s Reaction? According to the latest USA Today/CNN/Gallup Poll, by 23% the public favors President Bush over Congressional Democrats when it comes to influencing the country\’s direction – 59% to 36%.

The President\’s Reaction? The President opposes tax increases because he believes the worst thing we could do during tough economic times is raise taxes and have the government take more money from Americans.

The Pundits Reaction? Frank Rich said on Imus in the Morning (1/17/02): "Let\’s face it — we all know we were having this recession well before the current president took office–while I\’m not a fan of this tax cut, most of it hasn\’t happened yet — so really that formulation of Daschle\’s reflects a kind of intellectual bankruptcy in the democratic party — they really don\’t seem to have a plan, they don\’t have many ideas so they are sniping around the edges of Bush\’s policies without any really interesting or dynamic alternative — just this kind of stuff which really doesn\’t make a dent in the issue and it is bogus as often is the case."

Democrat Reaction? As the week comes to a close, Democrats find themselves splintered into 3 groups:

  • The House and Senate Members who support tax increases – including Sens. Kennedy and Clinton
  • The 12 Senate Democrats and 41 House Dems who voted for tax cuts.
  • The Senators who attack tax cuts but offer no other economic growth agenda – including Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle.


The President\’s approval rating has been above 80% for twelve consecutive Gallup polls spanning 18 weeks – the longest duration of such presidential ratings in history.