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President’s and Congressional proposals are too small

By Jeff Brewer


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            This last week, President Bush presented his “extraordinarily” large $1.6 trillion tax cut to the Congress.  In an effort to paint the Bush plan as modest, Capitol Hill Republicans did the President “one better” when they proposed a $2.2 trillion reduction.  Conservatives, as we should be, were ecstatic with the President’s pitch for lower marginal rates across the board.  Meanwhile, the distinguished socialist from South Dakota, Minority Leader Tom Daschle flanked by his Congressional chum Dick Gephardt, were enjoying their favorite pastime-positing about exactly why a surplus of a few trillion dollars shouldn’t be returned to the American taxpayers.  Something about a Lexus and a muffler…I’m really not sure.

            The distinguished socialist, a three term Senator and a lifelong politician (I might add that this public servant is routinely whisked around Washington in a limo), is terming the Republican plans merely giveaways to the rich, or the wealthiest 1% of income earners as he and algore were apt to say many months ago.  Additionally, they contend that 12 million children are in families that don’t receive a tax cut.  Oh the horror…if it were true.

And of course, the liberals feed the machine with, to use their lingo, “mean-spirited, fear-mongering” tactics:  “That George W. Bush is a barbarian, a cruel nasty one-eyed ogre who eats minority children for breakfast and enslaves women at the White House.”  Rrrright.

It seems to escape them that the top 1% pays 33.6% of all income taxes and that the top 5% pays a whopping 54% of federal income taxes.  And that according to the Heritage Foundation “This percentage has grown substantially over the past twenty years:  in 1979 the top 1 percent paid 19 percent of all individual income taxes.”  So it necessarily follows, logically, that the wealthy, who make the most money and therefore are taxed the most, are going to receive a larger cut in terms of actual dollars than a single mom making $30k a year.  And more than that, one has to be paying taxes to get a tax cut; you can’t cut someone’s taxes if they don’t pay any to begin with!  These basic economic truths are simple to grasp for conservatives but for some reason, dim-witted liberals and their robotic followers find such elementary concepts difficult to grasp.  It must be like trying to clutch the wind for these clowns…downright impossible.

   Lest I digress for good, though, I return from my tangent.  Let’s see…oh yes.  This tax cut plan forwarded by the President is really…puny.  It is the proverbial drop in the bucket, a very small step for a party that wields relatively unlimited power for at least the next two years.  Indeed, if you compare this tax reform to the Gipper’s back in 1981, it looks puny.  Sure, Reagan had much more to cut, seeing as the highest marginal rates were above 70 percent, but his proposals were phased in over three years.  Bush’s package isn’t fully implemented for six years and he has less to slash!  Americans need tax relief now!  Collectively, federal taxes top 20% of GDP!  And Americans are working over four months of the year to fund the federal government at all levels. (

Not only does the President’s rate reduction move at the pace of a three-toed sloth, but also his actual reductions in quantitative terms, are not nearly enough.  Not when you consider that the Senate Finance Committee’s ten-year surplus projection is $27.9 trillion.  That’s $27.9 trillion that belongs to the American taxpayers, folks.

Certainly, the President is proposing additional items including elimination of the estate and gift tax, an easing of the so-called "marriage penalty" and a doubling of the per-child credit to $1,000.  But per-child tax credits, while an excellent thing for families with children, doesn’t address those of us married without kids.  And what about the parents who’s posterity has left the nest for good; what about these married couples who are trying to plan for retirement and could use the extra income for security and investment?  A further reduction in marginal rates would do a world of good.  We can afford it, and besides, it’s the right thing to do.  For politicians like Gephardt and Daschle to lie so brazenly when they tell a dumb-down American public that a tax cut is actually the father of budget deficits and sky-high inflation is the height of arrogance!  More disposable income of the pockets of the American consumer is what drives this nation’s engine. 

Any honest analyst will tell you that the periods of giant deficits and out-of-control inflation of the past quarter century find their root in outrageous government spending. i.e., military budgeting (which is constitutional because it “provides for the common defense”) and socialist welfare programs of every stripe.  Tax cuts, by their very nature as simply a return of money to an over-charged public, are not spending!  And any attempts to see a slash in rates as such are simply the ignorant arguments of leftist politicians who’s thirst for power overrides their desire to see their own downtrodden bastions of electoral success freed to pursue economic and political liberty.

 Americans need a bold, carefully articulated and well-defended tax cut two or three times the size of the congress’ $2.2 trillion dollar proposal.  Thanks to a Republican controlled congress, we are currently enjoying our fourth straight year of budget surpluses.  And if you ask me, it’s about time that a hefty chunk of this excess taxation be returned to the workers and corporations of this great nation-the people that create our prosperity and shamefully allow the likes of Bill Clinton to audaciously take credit for times of plenty. 

Buy Books 

Taxing Ourselves: A Citizen's Guide to the Great Debate over Tax Reform
by Joel Slemrod, Jon M. Bakija

Does Atlas Shrug? The Economic Consequences of Taxing the Rich
by Joel Slemrod

The IRS v. The People
by Jack Kemp (Editor), Ken Blackwell (Editor), Rush Limbaugh

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© Jeff Brewer, 2001

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