Quack! Quack! Quack!

What walks like a tax, squawks like a tax and looks like a tax?

In demanding last month that Congress produce a deficit-trimming budget without resort to accounting gimmickry or tax increases, George Bush knew he might as well have ordered the sun not to rise. Last week, as Congress raced to adjourn before the Thanksgiving holiday, it sent the President a final 1990 budget bill lopping $14.7 billion off the deficit -- thanks, of course, to gimmicks and a $5.6 billion increase in what people outside the Washington Beltway usually call taxes. Without a murmur of protest or the slightest hint of a blush, Bush agreed to sign the measure into law.

Yet, in...

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