Former President George W. Bush on Tuesday defended his controversial series of tax cuts that are still in effect but said he regrets that his name is attached to them.
In a speech at the New York Historical Society, Bush said the cuts, which are currently set to expire at the end of the year, might be extended if they were associated with a less-controversial name.
"I wish they weren't called the 'Bush tax cuts.' If they were called someone else's tax cuts, they'd be less likely to be raised," Bush said.
President Barack Obama has vowed not to renew the cuts when they expire at the end of the year, but Republicans have likened that to a tax increase and have championed them as the best way to grow the economy.
Bush defended the cuts and repeated the traditional GOP arguments.
"If you raise taxes on these so-called rich, you're really raising taxes on the job-creators," Bush said at the conference, which was sponsored by the Bush Institute.
He added, "And if the goal is to create private sector growth, you have to recognize that the best way is to leave capital in the treasuries of the job-creators."
As he has done in the past, Bush avoided any mention of Obama, saying, "I don't believe it's in the interest of our country to undermine our president."
Obama and congressional Republicans are squaring off in what looks like an all-out war over renewing the cuts. The president actually wants to go beyond simply dismissing the cuts, as he has proposed raising tax rates for the wealthiest millionaires.
Taxes have also become a hot topic on the GOP presidential campaign trail and are likely to become an even bigger topic when the general election campaign ramps up.
by RTT Staff Writer
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