John Hendricks: “I may be the only Republican on the Hill who reads your column. I understand your election year enthusiasm for the VP. But despite your partisan full disclosure, I still think you’re missing the mark about Republican tax cuts. I remember my economics coursework at UCLA well enough to understand one’s fear about inflationary pressure if tax cuts return more cash to circulation. But according to numbers released today by the Speaker’s office, the sum of the current Congressional tax reduction proposals only add up to $531.5 billion…that’s just 11.6% of the entire budget surplus. I know that Bush is advocating for somewhat more, but surely neither of these are as “massive” as you and your party repeatedly insist. The real point we Republicans want to make is that the money belongs to the taxpayers anyway, and not to the government.

☞ But so does the debt, no? Doesn’t that also belong to us? So why not do the conservative, formerly-Republican, thing and pay it off?

And with whatever tax cuts you do enact — Bush’s is pegged at well over $1 trillion over 10 years, which is MUCH more than 11.6% of the hoped-for surplus — why skew them to the most politically powerful who need them least? At some point, doesn’t the ever-widening gap between the rich and the middle become embarrassing or unhealthy? This is a very gray area, I know. But my own sense of it is that a small cut for the rich would be dandy — I’d love the 3.6% “millionaire’s” surcharge to kick in at, say, $500K instead of $250K . . . that would be a delightful $9,000 soupcon for the rich, enough for an exceptionally nice weekend in Paris. And I’d love to see the estate tax ceiling lifted to $5 million, so all but the tiniest fortunate few can just forget about it. But more than that? Not fair. It’s your taxes that should be lowered, not mine. Sorry.


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