Permanent Jump Start
The Washington Post's Jim Vandehei reports today that "Tax Cuts Lose Spot on GOP Agenda":
Bush's call for Congress to make permanent all the tax cuts enacted in his first term faces increasingly strong resistance among some Republicans concerned about rising deficits. The chairmen of the Senate Budget and Finance committees said in interviews last week that Republicans might wait until next year, or later, to consider the Bush plan ...
President Bush has described his tax-cuts from 2001 and from 2003 as efforts "to jump-start the economic recovery." And now, Bush, says, that jump-start must be made permanent in order to keep the engine running. Or something like that.
It doesn't seem like Bush understands the idea of a "jump-start."
Here is one of many handy online tutorials on "How to Jump-Start a Battery." It ends, as all such instructions do, by saying:
"You're on your way ... but not before you remove the cables. Cables should be removed in reverse order that you put them on."
Picture what it would mean to disregard this final step. Picture the "permanent jump-start" -- two cars, perilously close, racing down the highway with their hoods up and black and red cables stretching between their engines. A "permanent jump-start" is not only unnecessary, but foolish and dangerous.
And yet, this image has become the central metaphor and argument the president offers for extending, and making permanent, his tax-cuts. The presentation of such a strange, contradictory image is, in Orwell's phrase, "a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying."
And if the president isn't interested in what he is saying, why should we be?"