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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Unjustified Wartime Opposition To Tax Cuts
Jimmy Moore
March 31, 2003

The Democrat Party has a long history of making excuses for opposing tax cuts and favoring tax increases. However, with the war in Iraq now in full force, they have found a new rationalization for opposing tax cuts.

Senate Democrats successfully reduced the $726 billion in tax cuts proposed by President Bush to less than half of that amount. Just a week earlier, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a budget that included the entire amount of Bush’s tax cuts. The contrast between these two chambers is stark.

These two legislative bodies must now come together this week and work out a compromise deal on these conflicting budgets. Republican leaders will be pushing hard to keep as much of the tax cuts in the budget as possible.

Although President Bush has had bipartisan support from most lawmakers with the war in Iraq (a few exceptions notwithstanding), his domestic agenda has been stifled by the Democrats and a few moderate Republicans who want to use the war as an excuse for opposing tax cuts.

One usual suspect on the Democrat side of the aisle explains it this way:

“There are just differences that on a bipartisan basis (sic) Congress has had with the administration” on taxes said Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD). “I don't think, war or no war, those differences would be any differently reflected.”

This is the same man who has purposefully and maliciously stifled the Bush domestic agenda for the past two years as Senate Majority Leader. Now that Daschle is out of power, it is time for Republicans to stand up for the policies they ran for office on and believe in like tax cuts. When Daschle and the Democrats were in charge, that NEVER happened (and NEVER will)! The time to do cut taxes as much as possible is NOW!

In response to President Bush’s weekly radio address, Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) said on Saturday that Congress will be more than happy to give the president the money he needs for the war in Iraq, but it will be paid for at the expense of Bush’s tax cuts. President Bush’s plans to cut taxes and boost military spending would lead to sizable budget shortfalls, Dorgan warns.

“That doesn't make sense to me. I don't think it's right to ask our soldiers to fight this war and then not ask our citizens to pay for it,” he said (I’ll provide a recent example of a President of the United States who cut taxes and successfully fought a war at the same time later in this article).

Sen. Dorgan wants the revenue that would go towards cutting taxes to pay for more necessary domestic programs, such as education and prescription drug coverage for senior citizens. Tax and spend Democrats never die, do they?

President Bush lamented the Senate severely cutting his tax cuts, but remains optimistic that most of them can be preserved in the compromise.

"We will work to ensure that the final House-Senate budget provides the growth measures American workers deserve," the president said.

But the Democrats have slowly been floating the message that tax cuts are wrong, even immoral, during wartime. As preposterous and bogus as that sounds, many of our lawmakers are beginning to believe it is true.

President Bush asked Congress last week for $75 billion to pay for the war in Iraq and other costs associated with fighting terrorism and protecting homeland security. The Democrats decided that this was their opportunity to foil the Bush tax cuts with an explanation that sounded good and that the American people would support. How can we afford tax cuts when we are fighting a war? is the new rally cry for Democrats in opposition to tax cuts.

Democrats are also combining this new argument with the old “tax cuts will increase the federal deficit” excuse they have been using since Ronald Reagan was president. Speaking of Ronald Reagan, didn’t he cut taxes during his administration that grew the economy like never before in our nation’s history? Yet weren’t we also in the midst of a war during the 1980’s as well. Ah, yes, it was the Cold War.

The culmination of the Cold War the United States had with the Soviet Union happened throughout the Reagan administration and ended in 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell and Communism was defeated. President Reagan believed a strong military budget combined with significant tax cuts was exactly what was needed to keep America strong internationally and domestically. And he was right!

And that’s exactly what President George W. Bush wants to do in 2003. Instead of the Cold War, though, we now have the war on terrorism. Likewise, the tax cuts Bush is proposing will help lift the economy out of the late-Clinton era economic downturn much like Reagan’s tax cuts helped get America out of the economic doldrums that were brought on by the Carter years.

Of course, Democrats are also using another tired excuse in their opposition to the Bush tax cuts. The “tax cuts for the rich” montra just isn’t going to work this time, though. Everyone who pays taxes can and will benefit from President Bush’s tax cuts, especially middle-income Americans.

The reduction of the marriage penalty, an increase in the child tax credit and a lower tax bracket will help many hurting families immediately. Investors in the stock market, half of which are senior citizens, will no longer have to pay double taxation on their dividend income. Small business owners will get more deductions for costs associated with growing and expanding their business. And the unemployed will receive more help finding a job through Personal Re-employment Accounts with a bonus for those who find work quickly. These are all vital parts of the Bush tax cuts that will help a lot of people who would not be considered “rich.”

Here are some other interesting numbers regarding the Bush tax cuts:

- 92 million taxpayers would receive an average tax cut of $1,083 in 2003 under the Bush plan.

- 46 million married couples would receive an average tax cut of $1,716.

- 34 million families with children would benefit from an average tax cut of $1,473.

- 6 million single women with children would receive an average tax cut of $541.

- 13 million elderly taxpayers would receive an average tax cut of $1,384.

- 23 million small business owners would receive tax cuts averaging $2,042.
Furthermore, the Council of Economic Advisers has said that President Bush’s plan will help the economy create 2.1 million new jobs over the next three years. This underlines why our lawmakers in the House and Senate need to fully implement the $726 billion in tax cuts proposed by President Bush. The greatest impact on the economy will be made when people get to keep more of the money they earn.

Republicans need to resist the temptation to buy into the notion that taxes should not be cut during wartime. There is solid historical proof that tax cuts are precisely what America needs right now to be revived economically. If the tax cuts are drastically reduced, then the Democrats will have a lot of explaining to do to their constituents during the 2004 elections.

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