Howard Dean’s Tax Problem

If you want to know why Howard Dean would be such a horrible candidate for the Dems in 2004, look no further than the reaction of his campaign manager to a campaign ad run by the Club for Growth (which you can read or watch here).

I really love this ad because it talks about an important issue to the American people, it doesn’t overreach in the slightest, and yet it’s devastating to Dean. The advertisement slams Dean for wanting to raise taxes and compares him to other Democrats in the past who wanted to take money out of the American people’s pockets like McGovern, Mondale, and Dukakis.

So how does Dean’s campaign manager Joe Trippi respond to it? Take a look…

“Dean has called for rolling back all of President Bush’s tax cuts and using the money to provide health care and to relieve the pressure on state and local taxes. Dean has not indicated he would raise taxes beyond their previous levels, but Americans undoubtedly would see their taxes increased if all Bush’s cuts are repealed.

Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi called the ad “absolutely wrong” and a “bald-faced lie” because it characterizes Dean as a tax-and-spend Democrat.

I could point out that the ad didn’t characterize Dean as a tax-and-spend Democrat, it just slammed him for wanting to raise taxes, but that’s not the most salient point.

What’s really noteworthy here is that Dean’s campaign manager is denying that he’s a tax-and-spend Democrat. Yet, repealing all of Bush’s tax cuts and spending the money is one of the core issues that Dean has been campaigning on! For Trippi to deny this, would be like Karl Rove denying that Bush intends to fight the war on terrorism if he’s reelected. Anyone with the slightest, barest, tiniest shred of intellectual honesty who has followed the Dean campaign has to admit he is going to raise taxes and then spend the money on new programs.

How can Dean possibly beat George Bush if he’s afraid to tell the American people about something he has been running on in the Democratic primaries practically from day one? If anybody thinks Dean is going to get by claiming that he’s a “moderate” governor from VERMONT, who’s for gun rights, and balancing the budget, while his positions on the war, taxes, and civil unions stay off the radar screen, they’ve got another think coming.

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