If Bush’s primary domestic legacy does disappear, he really only has himself ultimately to blame–not Democrats. That may seem counterintuitive or even unfair given that Bush is the biggest tax-cutter since President Reagan. But consider these four ways in which the president has inadvertently planted the seeds for the demise of his own fiscal policies.
1) Failed to properly time the 2001 tax cuts.
2) Failed to make the 2001 tax cuts “growthy” enough.
3) Failed to control spending.
4) Failed to reform entitlements.
The tax cuts are Bush’s “primary domestic legacy”? Aren’t they his only domestic legacy at this point?
Or, rather, his only one that’s not a failure. Look at the border and immigration. Port security. The readiness of the military to fight. Social Security. All losses. Not all his fault, perhaps, but all losses nonetheless.
It will take some time to see whether his court appointees become a lasting legacy or not. If the economy maintains its momentum, maybe that will stand out. But I fear that that momentum is tied almost directly to the very tax cuts Democrats are looking to let expire and that it will hit the wall hard if they do.
Just as Pethokoukis argues that the death of the tax cuts may be Bush’s own fault, many of the other Republican shortcomings from the past six years are of the GOP’s own making.