When President Reagan was in office, he had a close working relationship with then Speaker, Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill. They met regularly in the evenings at the White House, talking politics and policy over tumblers of Irish whiskey.
One evening, nearing the vote on the Reagan tax cuts, they hashed things out, amicably, over tumblers of Irish whiskey. The President said, “Mr. Speaker, I want a 30% income tax reduction spread out over three years. 10-10-10.
Speaker O’Neill responded, “Mr. President, I’ll give you 5-10-10.”
President Reagan responded, “I can accept that. But, I want ninety House Democratic votes.
The Speaker responded, “Mr. President, you shall have your ninety votes.”
Now, here we are, almost 40 years later and the Speaker won’t even talk to the President, let alone hashing out compromises and delivering the votes.
The Artful Dilettante