The New York Times has an op-ed piece by Jon Meacham comparing President Obama and George H.W. Bush, suggesting that each broke with their base on taxes and that Mr. Obama may follow Mr. Bush as a one-term president as a result.
I think it's off on two points. Mr. Meacham writes that President George H.W. Bush's tax increase was "the beginning of the fiscal discipline that helped create the budget surpluses of the 1990s." I disagree; if you look at the numbers, the budget surpluses of the 1990s really came about because of the Republicans winning Congress in 1994, imposing spending restraint, reforming welfare, and and enacting growth-generating cuts on capital gains taxes.
Second, Mr. Meacham writes, "Mr. Obama, like Mr. Bush, may be a one-term president. Mr. Clinton won re-election because of his political gifts and the improving economy and because he was fortunate in his Congressional foes. Mr. Bush did not have these advantages." In fact the economy was improving by the end of the George H.W. Bush administration — annualized, seasonally adjusted GDP growth in 1992 was an astonishingly strong 4.5% in the first quarter, 4.3% in the second quarter, 4.2% in the third quarter, and 4.2% in the fourth quarter.
There may be an instructive comparison between the Bush economic recovery and how the press and political opponents did not acknowledge it is under way and the economic conditions right now, but that's not the comparison Mr. Meacham is making.