Part 9 in a Series
This comes from an interview with Peter G. Peterson, who served as Nixon's Secretary of Commerce.
He [George W. Bush]'s a charming person. There were about a dozen of us, largely fat cats from Wall Street, and I said, "Well, sir, if you're elected president, there's a moral issue and a philosophical issue." And he said, "What's this moral point?" And I told him about the German theologian, Bonhoeffer, who said that the ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world it leaves to its children. And I said, "Sir, as I look at these fat cats around this table, I wonder about the morality of what we're doing here -- because while we're getting tax cuts, our kids are going to get huge tax increases, because of our largesse."
Well, you could see that I'd hit him in the solar plexus, or somewhere else, and I said, "I don't think tax cuts are immoral." He was somewhat shaken or irritated by my comment. And I said, "Sir, I didn't say tax cuts were immoral. I said tax cuts for people like us, before you've solved the costs you're going to be passing on to your kids, is in my judgment immoral." But you could just tell by his steely response that tax cuts are part of the theology.
If you don't match the tax cuts with spending cuts, it's just a deferred tax increase. And it's on our kids, because you're in effect trading a tax cut now for a tax increase later, on kids that had nothing to do with this decision.