Renaissance Column

AUGUST 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 8



ANTHONY MARCIANO

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ANTHONY MARCIANO, a native of North Providence, Rhode Island, holds a masters degree in political science from Suffolk University. He has worked on various campaigns including that of current Rhode Island governor Lincoln Almond. Marciano lives in Boston, MA.




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  Give the American Taxpayers a Break

ANTHONY MARCIANO

"The Senate is about to make a pivotal choice: whether to move forward with a sound strategy that led us to this point, or to return to the reckless policies that threw our nation into stagnation and economic decline."

So said the President of the United States yesterday, in a statement that shows that this Administration's capacity for deceit truly knows no bounds. President Clinton was commenting on the legislation passed by the House of Representatives that would cut the amount of taxes collected by the federal government by an estimated $792 billion over the next ten years.

The President would apparently like the American people to believe that in the past "reckless" tax cuts promoted by Republicans have led to economic decline. This is a statement that is even less believable than "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." Is he referring to the tax cuts that were enacted in the early part of the Reagan administration, which were followed by a record 32 quarters of expansion? And when, exactly, was the nation thrown into stagnation and economic decline? Could he be referring to that brief period during the Bush administration in which the economy slowed down after an eight-year recovery then began to expand again well before Clinton took office?

The fact is, in order to find a time in which the economy was truly in economic decline for an extended period of time; one would have to go back to before the Reagan expansion, which began in June of 1982. So one has to wonder what Clinton is referring to by "reckless policies" that threw our nation into stagnation and economic decline.

The debate regarding the tax cut brings to light a basic difference between how the Republican Party views taxation and how most of the Democrats view taxation. The Democrats believe that the surplus that we are projected to have over the next ten years belongs to the government, and are profoundly disturbed that there are some in government who actually want to return some of this money to the people whose tax money created the surplus in the first place. The Republicans believe that those who are paying the taxes that have created, and will continue to create, the surplus are entitled to have some of the money returned to them.

The tax cut proposed by the Republicans totals $792 billion. This is a large sum of money, but it does not come close to the $3 trillion dollars in surpluses that we are projected to have over the next decade. Thus, all of the talk by the Democrats about the this risky tax "scheme" is a cover to hid the fact that the only risk involved is that the government will no longer be taking a greater percentage of the population's earnings than at any time since the second world war.

President Clinton himself, in a rare moment of candidness, acknowledged that when he raised taxes in 1993, the increase was excessive. Later he explained that the reason he had made such an admission was that he disregarded his mother's advice to refrain from speaking extemporaneously after 7 p.m.. It is apparent that she was in fact giving her son sound advice, as the result can be that one speaks the honest truth, which, if you are Bill Clinton, is something to be steadfastly avoided.

My point is not, however, what sorts of truth the President could be induced to utter if he gave speeches late enough - "The 'Clinton recovery' started a year before I took office", "I not only inhaled, but ate brownies of the stuff", "I did have sexual relations with [fill in blank]". The point, rather, is that even President Clinton, in a moment of weakness, admitted that taxes are too high. All of the demagoguery about this tax cut being a "giveaway to the rich" cannot obscure this fact.

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