Overall all the tax questions pushed Bush towards hiking taxes. Notice the first question out of the gate was on raising the gasoline tax, not about oh, how the gas tax funds are perpetually raided by Congress for non-infrastructure spending. The question on corporate tax rates and carried interest also come from the left, pushing Bush on the matter of tax "fairness." I particulary find the questions in bold obnoxious vis-a-vis fiscal policy.
11:18: president concludes news conference.
11:14, unid'd reporter: Given the decision to commute Libby, is it fair for people to ask about your commitment to accountability?
11:13, unid'd reporter, citing Libby pardon, Al Gonzales hearings: Can you give clear examples of how you've held people accountable during your presidency?
11:12, Ann, followup: So you're confident you can continue to sustain the level of spending in Iraq?
11:10, Ann [Compton?, ABC Radio] : Can you do justice to the kinds of programs the government needs for bridges, housing, and also spend what you are for the war in Iraq?
11:09, unid'd reporter: What about carried interest, is taxing that as capital gains fair? Many people think it's not?
11:06, unidentified reporter: "Are you considering cutting corporate taxes, do you think America's corporations are not making enough money these days?"
11:04, Jim ?? : have you been confident that he shares your view on Iraq [sic]?
11:00, Jim ?? : Reports out of Iran today have Iran saying Maliki told Ahmadinejad that he appreciated Iran's stance. The images seemed very warm. Do you and your Iraqi counterpart see eye to eye on Iran. What message do those images send?
10:58, unid'd reporter: What do you think about report that says procedures tantamount to torture have been used in CIA prisons? You promised to close down Guantanamo Bay but nothing has progressed on that, will we see progress on that?
10:57, Holly Rosencrantz, Bloomberg: Should Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac be allowed to buy more mortgages above their current limits?
10:56, Mike Emanuel, Fox News: Do you have a message to the regime in Iran about their weapons ending up in Iraq and harming US citizens?
10:55, Gregory, NBC :What's going on in the housing market? Is it a correction or a crisis in your view?
10:54, Gregory, NBC : You weren't this circumspect when you were talking to reporters yesterday.
10:52, David Gregory, NBC : Do you think that housing prices will continue to fall? Do you think that the inability of people to borrow will spill out to the general economy? Are you considering a government bailout for people who might lose their homes?
10:46, Jim Axelrod, CBS : Given the premise of the surge is to give the Iraqi govt. breathing space to get things done and they'r enot getting things done, don't the American people deserve to hear more than you're telling the Iraqis to do better?
10:46, Cochran, ABC: Can we assume CIA is in Pakistan?
10:44, John Cochran, ABC : You were asked if you had actionable intelligence about Pakistan, would you act, and you said, if we had good actionable intel, we'd get it done. Who is we? Would you do it unilaterally? And about Barack Obama, some in your party comparing him to Dr. Strangelove? Do you agree with that?
10:43 Henry, CNN: Can you tell us when you found out it was't enemy fire, that it was friendly fire?
10:42, Ed Henry, CNN, noting some still believe Cpl. Pat Tillman was murdered: "now you have a chance to pledge to the family that your government, your administration will get to the bottom of" Pat Tillman's death. Will he pledge to get to the bottom of the cause of Tillman's death
10:40, unidentified reporter :question about concern over stability of Pervez Musharraf's regime in Pakistan.
10:38, Terence Hunt, AP: Would you be willing to go along with an increase in gasoline tax of 5 cents or more?
10:35: Bush rattles off list of initiatives he's proposed for encouraging education, technology developments.
10:34: President notes $1.9 trillion economic expansion since tax cuts.
10:33 EDT: The President is holding a press conference in a few moments. I'll be live-blogging the questions here. Please keep in mind my transcript of the questions are on the fly and not necessarily verbatim. I'll update later with a link to the White House transcript.
Update: White House transcript available here.