Read his lips: Former U.S. President Bush to be honored for tax compromise

BOSTON Thu Mar 27, 2014 3:17pm EDT

Former President George H. W. Bush applauds during an event to honor the winner of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award at the White House in Washington July 15, 2013 file photo. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Former President George H. W. Bush applauds during an event to honor the winner of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light Award at the White House in Washington July 15, 2013 file photo.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

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BOSTON (Reuters) - Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush was pilloried in 1990 when he broke his "Read my lips: no new taxes" campaign pledge, and may have lost his chance at re-election as a result. But this year he is getting an award for the decision.

The John F. Kennedy Library Foundation on Thursday announced the 41st U.S. president, father of former President George W. Bush, is co-recipient of the 2014 Profile in Courage Award for making the politically difficult choice to raise taxes two years into his first term.

"Although he recognized the 1990 budget deal might doom his prospects for re-election, he did what he thought was best for the country and has since been credited with helping to lay the foundation of the economic growth of the 1990s that followed," the foundation said in a press release.

The 1990 budget deal with congressional Democrats slashed a ballooning deficit by approximately $500 billion over the following five years through a combination of spending cuts and tax increases, the foundation said.

Bush lost the 1992 presidential election to Democrat Bill Clinton, though his son gained the White House eight years later and served two terms.

Paul Bridges, the former mayor of Uvalda, Georgia, was the other co-recipient of the award for helping stop a law aimed at driving out illegal immigrants in 2011. The law would have allowed police to demand documents demonstrating immigration status during traffic stops.

"As a result of his decision to publicly oppose the law, Bridges withstood scathing criticism from anti-immigration partisans around the country, and lost popular support at home," the foundation said.

The award is given every year to public servants who have made a decision of conscience without regard to personal or professional consequences.

(Writing by Richard Valdmanis; Editing by Scott Malone and Dan Grebler)

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Comments (3)
“President George W. Bush is co-recipient of the 2014 Profile in Courage Award for making the politically difficult choice to raise taxes two years into his first term”

I wish modern republicans had that kind of courage. It would go a long way to forcing me to rethink my views on the GOP. Unfortunately, they all seem to be spineless cowards who are terrified to stand up to Grover Norquist and the pledge they made to him, which apparently has usurped their Oath of Office.

Mar 27, 2014 3:39pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:
USofRationality wrote: …’I wish modern republicans had that kind of courage.’

Courage went out the window with the GOP when we elected Obama the first time. The Koch/TP hijacked that party then and there’s been only hypocrisy and just plain stupidity from that party ever since. It’ll be decades before Republicons get rational again, if ever. This former ‘I’ is voting anti-R from here on.

Mar 27, 2014 4:33pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
SunnyDaySam wrote:
USofR: Every single Republicon who signed that pledge to ChickenHawk Lobbyist Norquist needs to get the boot asap! They violated their oath to the American People.

Mar 27, 2014 4:38pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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