Bush Raises Taxes

Published: 1990
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President George Walker Bush (R) huddles with Sen. John Warner, R-Va, as Bush attends a fund raiser for Warner on march 8, 1990 in Vienna, Virginia. Warner is seeking a third term in the Senate. Bush praised Warner, saying, “Nowhere is his wisdom more evident than in foreign policy.” (UPI Photo/Jim Fetters/Files)

Howard Dicus: It was the year President Bush broke his pledge of no new taxes.

George H. W. Bush: “And I feel that every once in a while the President has to do something he doesn't like.”

Howard Dicus: Bush endured a plunge in popularity to raise taxes and slashed the federal debt only to see members of his own party oppose him.

Speaker: This Bill by raising taxes will kill jobs, and I think that's not good for Americans.

Howard Dicus: The House of Republican whip (ph) responsible for lining up votes on Bush's behalf, instead lined up votes against him. With Republicans divided, Democrats passed their own plan, which Bush blocked by Vetoing the next Money Bill.

George H. W. Bush: “I am no going to be part of business as usual.”

Howard Dicus: Parts of the government shut down on one of the year's busiest tourist weekends the Statue of Liberty was closed.

UnknownSpeaker: Attention visitors! Due to the Appropriation Bill not being passed, the Statue of Liberty at Alice Island will be closed until further notice.

Howard Dicus: Congressman Larry Smith was incensed at what he saw as a stunt.

Larry Smith: “Under his definition of necessary services we had saw NASA launch the space shuttle this morning, but the Statue of Liberty has closed the Eagles' Scout.

Howard Dicus: Long days and nights later, agreement.

Speaker: The yeahs are 54, the nays are 45. The Budget Reconciliation Act is adopted.

Howard Dicus: Higher taxes, lower deficit. Sleepy Senate leaders Mitchell and Dole called Bush with the news.

Mitchell: Hope you will get a little sleep now and a little rest, both of us.

Dole: Yeah, we are almost asleep, as the last days have been rocking, but I think your biggest problem is over. Congress is going to leave.

Howard Dicus: The last word on new taxes from the man Bush beat in the last election by promising not to this very thing.

Michael Dukakis: I told the truth and I paid the price. Mr. Bush did not, and we are all now going to have to pay for that.

Howard Dicus: Now it was time for more elections. Voter outrage was expected on many issues. In particular it was predicted that Senator Jesse Helms leader of the Right would be ousted. It didn't happen.

Jesse Helms: If the liberal politician think I have been a thorn in their sides of the path, they haven't seen anything yet.

Howard Dicus: This is how Pia Chamberlain analyzed the election. The next morning --

Unknown Speaker: Well over 90% of incumbent members of Congress were reelected. Three factors seem to be at work. Voters talk about throwing the bombs out, but not their own bomb. Constituent service has become a fine art, helping people find lost benefit checks, get jobs, keep factories open. And finally, money. Senate challengers were outspent 3.5 to 1.

Howard Dicus: At the state level it was different. Tax raising governors mostly lost. Independence won governorships in Alaska and Connecticut. Presidential possible Mario Cuomo won a new term as New York governor, but had his victory speech interrupted by Aids activist.

Mario Cuomo: We have come a long way. It will only take me a minute -- We have come a long way --