Quin, I agree with you that calling Donald Rumsfeld one of the best Secretaries of Defense ever, and saying the army needs to be bigger is quite a contradiction.
But I think this was the most troubling exchange of the interview:
Just on that point, are you willing to sit down with Democrats in a commission that puts all the options on Social Security on the table? Not just reductions and benefits, not just private accounts, but also some kind of revenue increases, tax increases?
I don’t see how you can move forward without people feeling comfortable about putting ideas on the table. I have made it clear that I’ve got a way forward that can do it and I want to hear other people’s opinions. And that’s what Hank Paulson is telling both Republicans and Democrats. It’s going to be very important for people to feel there can be a full, wide-ranging discussion about how to move forward.
And specifically, tax increases on the table then?
Well, specifically, personal accounts; specifically, everything that the Democrats think will work, as well.
Well, they talk about tax increases.
Well, let them; that’s fine. They can come to the table and talk about them. I proposed a way forward that doesn’t require tax increases. Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing their opinions.
It makes no sense to me why Bush would even consider raising taxes. What would he gain politically? All he would do is cut off the one remaining leg he has to stand on among conservatives.