Did you hear Bob Dole’s acceptance speech Thursday night?

Under Clinton, close to 10 million new jobs have been added to the economy (versus essentially none during the Bush years) even as the federal payroll has been cut to levels not seen since the Kennedy years and the deficit — enormous during Reagan/Bush — has dropped by nearly two thirds. Inflation is low, interests rates fairly low, and we have steady economic growth, free trade, sharply falling crime rates, 33,000 more cops on the streets (headed for 100,000), and peace around the world.

Bob Dole looks at that sorry state of affairs and says: no more!

He would increase defense spending (guns) and slash taxes (so we can buy more butter) — the very things Ronald Reagan did. But note that when Reagan did them:

A: The top federal income tax bracket was 70%, not 39.6%, and unemployment was high, not low. Slashing taxes may not be as appropriate now. (When Kennedy cut rates, the top bracket was 90%.)

B: The Soviet Union was a powerful and arguably aggressive military threat that he hoped to outspend into collapse. A strong military is of course important. But ours is already unrivaled. We have some enemies — Iraq, North Korea — but how would a military build-up cause them to collapse? Aren’t we strong enough to defend ourselves from them even now?

C: The deficit exploded. Why explode it again?

Bob Dole wants to balance the budget by drastically reducing government revenues, while increasing defense spending and appropriating money to build new prisons. He of all people surely knows this is a fantasy. In your own financial affairs, it would be like saying you’ll get out of debt by taking a pay cut and hiring a security guard.

Tomorrow: Where Bob Dole Would Find the Money to Pay for His Tax Cut


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