The Cato Institute: Do These Guys Know Their Asses From Their Elbows?

From Holden:

I found this assertion in today’s WaPo piece on Republican doubters of Bush’s Social Security plans intriguing.

“This is the toughest political fight the president has ever picked,” Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute said. “On the other hand, the president has never lost a fight he has wanted to win.”

Hmmm. “[T]he president has never lost a fight he has wanted to win”, eh? The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have yet to stagger to their inevitable conclusions, but no one with any knowledge of the region honestly believes Bush’s dream of two new Jeffersonian democracies in the heart the Muslim world will be achieved.

And what about the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, which Bush opposed? Or the creation of the September 11th commission?

More relevant to the Social Security debate was Bush’s failed attempt to restructure the way public education was funded in Texas while he was governor.

In fact, George Bush’s biggest defeat as governor was on education, although most people don’t know this, even in Texas. He pressed this extraordinary plan — which is really an excellent plan in the minds of many people — to put more money in our kids’ schools by lowering property taxes and raising other ways of raising money. It was something that his political consultants and around him said, “Don’t do. It’s political dynamite.”

But he did anyway. He saw himself as the education governor. In order to become the education governor, he had to do something big, something extraordinary. He had to, at one point he told me, “Spend the political capital that I’d gained in order to do something that’s truly meaningful. That is to lower property taxes dramatically and put real money and change the education system of Texas.”

He failed, and he failed in part because the plan that he pushed — which ultimately was redone by allies in the legislature, Paul Sadler being the most important one of those — failed with his own Republicans in the House and Senate.

Yes, even the rhetoric Bush used to push his education funding plan was the same as he is using now in regards to Social Security. The difference this time is no one outside of Wall Street and a small circle of FDR-hating dead-enders at the Cato Institute thinks his plan for Social Security is a good idea.