Paul Gigot: 'I Love the Symbolism of Two Dem Presidents Endorsing Bush Tax Cuts'

December 12th, 2010 9:18 PM

The award for Best Line of the Weekend goes to Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Paul Gigot who on Sunday's "Meet the Press" offered a delicious irony concerning Friday's surprise press conference hosted by Barack Obama and Bill Clinton.

"I love the symbolism of two Democratic presidents--not one, but two--endorsing Bush tax cuts, saying, 'We need them crucially to help the economy' (video follows with transcript and commentary): 

DAVID GREGORY, HOST: But, but, Paul Gigot, the question is to you, does this signal an actual shift in the president's philosophy about what's going to make the economy work again?

PAUL GIGOT, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, they're saying, "No, no, no. No, shift." However, implicitly, it is a shift. I love the symbolism of two Democratic presidents--not one, but two--endorsing Bush tax cuts, saying, "We need them crucially to help the economy." The president, I think, is implicitly admitting that tax rates matter. After a couple of years, as you showed on the--with the, the discussion with Austan Goolsbee and Tim Geithner had said, "They don't matter." We--now they're saying, yes, they do matter, and then implicitly admitting that tax cuts matter more for growth than spending. And it makes you wonder why didn't they do this two years ago.

For those that missed it, Gigot was channeling an equally delicious editorial published by the Journal Saturday:

We thought we'd seen everything in politics, but yesterday was truly miraculous: There in the White House press room was none other than former Democratic President Bill Clinton appearing with current Democratic President Barack Obama to endorse the tax cuts of Republican George W. Bush. [...]

Both Democrats have devoted most of their political lives to denouncing such tax cuts—for their injustice, for increasing the deficit, for any other ill you can imagine. But 9.8% unemployment half way through a Democratic President's term tends to discombobulate the partisan mind. So Barack brought in Bill to help persuade a liberal Democratic base that is having a harder time forgetting two generations of anti-rich populism. Or as Mr. Clinton once famously said, "You gotta do what you gotta do."

When you think about it, Friday truly was amazing.

For over nine years, the Democrat Party and their media minions have regularly echoed the mantra of how horrible the Bush tax cuts were.

Yet, just days from them expiring, two Democrat Presidents got together to tell the nation just how essential they were.

To better illustrate the improbability, consider that shortly after Obama was inaugurated, Newsweek ran a cover story proudly proclaiming, "We Are All Socialists Now":

Maybe next week's issue should be a picture of Bush, Clinton, and Obama broadly smiling arm in arm under the headline, "We Are All Supply-Siders Now!"