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NYT: Bush breaks pledge made in 1999 to veto any tax increases

Published: Saturday May 20, 2006

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President Bush appears to have broken a pledge he made in 1999 to veto any tax increase bills, according to an article set for Sunday's New York Times, RAW STORY has found.

"The $69 billion tax cut bill that President Bush signed last week tripled tax rates for teenagers with college savings funds, despite Bush's 1999 pledge to veto any tax increase," reports David Cay Johnston.

In 1999, the conservative group Americans For Tax Reform convinced Bush - and the other candidates seeking the GOP nomination for president at the time - to sign anti-tax increase pledges (link).

"If I were elected president," Bush pledged. "I will oppose and veto any increase in individual or corporate marginal income tax rates or individual or corporate income tax hikes."

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, tells the Times that the increase is "a technical violation of the pledge."

"[Norquist] pledged to immediately begin a campaign to have the tax increases rescinded," Johnston writes.

Excerpt from the Times article:


Under the new law, teenagers age 14 to 17 with investment income will now be taxed at the same rate as their parents, not at their own rates. Long-term capital gains and dividends that had been taxed at 5 percent will now be taxed at 15 percent. Interest that had been taxed at 10 percent will now be taxed at as much as 35 percent.


...In response to a question about the tax increase on teenagers in the new legislation, the White House issued a statement Friday that made no reference to the tax increase, but recounted the tax cuts the administration has sponsored and stated that President Bush had "reduced taxes on all people who pay income taxes."

Challenged on that point, the White House modified its statement 21 minutes later to say that Mr. Bush had "reduced taxes on virtually all people who pay income taxes."