In this article on National Review Online, Bruce Bartlett argues that President Bush cannot pursue both Social Security reform and tax code reform in his second term. While I think that this kind of general pessimism is unhelpful to the conservative cause, more importantly, I think it is unwarranted. Consider the first term.
- The President pursued and won two huge and controversial tax cuts.
- The President pursued and won major educational reform, No Child Left Behind.
- The President pursued and won campaign finance reform, flawed though it may be.
- The President pursued and won prescription drug reform in Medicare.
These domestic victories came while the President was also pursuing and winning the Global War on Terror, which has taken our troops to many fronts, including Afghanistan and Iraq. Reform of homeland security, the intelligence community, and our military structure around the world have all been simultaneous with these other pursuits.
President Bush has proven that he can focus on more than one thing at a time. With increased majorities in the Congress, I expect a very aggressive agenda of reform in the coming term. It will not be just Social Security and the tax code, but the tsunami of reform will crash upon the judicial system as well, with lawsuit reform and a total remaking of the Supreme Court. There is no need for this kind of pessimism on the Right! Reformation is on the way.
Bruce Bartlett on George W. Bush, Tax Reform, and Social Security Reform on NRO Financial