Editorial on tax cuts misses the mark

By November 15, 2010


The author of your Nov. 10 editorial needs to meet some inconvenient facts. The essence of the editorial was to advocate renewal of all of President Bush’s tax cuts that supposedly pulled us out of a recession that set in at the end of President Clinton’s second term.

The facts are that President Clinton left Bush not only with nearly a trillion dollar surplus to squander, but an economy that had grown by 4.8 percent in 1999 and 4.1 percent in 2000. Yes, the dot-com bubble burst early in Bush’s first term and he lowered taxes in 2001 and 2003. But his tax cuts didn’t stimulate the economy as you suggested although it presumably stimulated the very wealthy since they were the prime beneficiaries of the cuts. The average increase in gross domestic product during the Bush years was 2.1 percent, one of the lowest rates since World War II and little more than one-half the average gain of 3.9 percent during the Clinton years.

The impact of the tax cuts on jobs was even worse. The total of 375,000 jobs created with the two tax cuts during the Bush years was the poorest showing in the last 50 years and was dwarfed by the 2.9 million jobs created during the Clinton higher tax years. In short, recent experience shows that extending the tax cuts for the wealthy will do nothing for jobs or the economy but only continue the transfer of wealth from the middle class to the very wealthy and increase the deficit.

President Obama and the Congress are the ones who should not compromise on their proposal to continue the tax cuts for the middle class and let it expire on the marginal tax rate for those earning more than $250,000. These high earners will still get the benefit of the tax cuts on their first $250,000, just like everyone else, but will pay 3 percent more only on income in excess of $250,000. If the Republicans insist on continuing the tax cuts for the wealthy, they will be responsible for letting all of the cuts expire.

You editorials should do better than shill for the malefactors of great wealth who are bleeding dry the citizens of this country.



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