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A time for decisiveness

By Bernard Chapin
web posted June 2, 2003

George W. Bush has done a magnificent job in getting our country to consider tax cuts as being a legitimate governing option. I agree with Senator Zell Miller who famously said that he never saw a tax cut that he didn't like. We need to err on the side of letting individuals keep what they've earned. This sentiment is not shared by everyone as I saw a headline late last month in The New York Times stating that the senate's approval of the bill signified "a tax cut without end." That is, unfortunately, false rhetoric. This tax cut will end but hopefully another 50 will have been passed by the time it is phased out.

What makes tax cuts so necessary is the federal government's criminal negligence in cutting spending. The Republicans, even now that they control the presidency and congress, have been unable to trim the budget. The Democrats refuse to cut any program or spending outside of the military. This is pure folly and Republicans must highlight to the voters how irresponsible the Democrats have been.

We have over 1,499 government assistance programs and obviously not all of them are necessary or of benefit to the population. Therefore, we must try to discontinue them or at least conduct analysis as to how effective they have been. When Christina Hoff Sommers, while at a government sponsored symposium, asked for studies to be conducted in order to determine how useful government drug prevention programs are, she was booed off the stage. Isn't it intuitive that not every idea or program that the federal government dreams up will be successful? How many people have had 1,499 good ideas in a row? It's time to discard the chaff and force the government to tighten its belt.

Even during the recent and short-lived recession, as our economy contracted, the federal government just kept growing and prospering even though the rest of country lost their jobs and their optimism. The best thing we can do is put money back into the pockets of working men and women by slashing the budget and rebating ill-gotten gains. It is working class Americans, as opposed to obese bureaucrats, who have made this nation the greatest place on earth.

President Bush's forehand volley two weeks ago should be followed up with an overhead smash later this year. The next thing we should do is to eliminate the lowest federal tax bracket. Hopefully we could exempt the first $20 000 of income from the IRS altogether. That would help everyone but more importantly it would eliminate any possibility of the Democrats continuing their outrageous class warfare accusations against us. We could phrase this issue as ‘saving the working poor' which is exactly what we would be doing. Through policy positions such as this the Republican Party could take over the descriptor as being "for the little guy." Let's not let the momentum dissipate. We must try to build on Bush's recent successes.

The Democrats are beholden to the teacher unions, government unions, and the trial lawyers and with just a few blasts from a spotlight it will be readily visible that they are more interested in promulgating the idea of a bigger and more intrusive government than they are in bettering the lives of the average American. The Democratic Party cares no more for the working man than France cares about the Americans who died in operation Iraqi Freedom.
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There's no middle ground here. Somebody needs to come in and begin giving our government the type of haircut they've been dreading since the three letters "FDR" were first put together. I don't want to be associated with reckless spenders who pose for photographs while ransacking Fort Knox. It time for a diet and I'm not talking "Atkins" or "the zone." I talking about the kind you'd receive at Kolyma in the height of a Siberian winter.

There's been enough talk about "the days of big government are over." It was obviously a lie when Clinton said it and it remains a lie today. When you support statist big spenders you destroy this nation's freedom with each vote. We must work and work to remove government's hands from the neck of our economy (even if we have to do it one finger at a time over fifty years).

The important thing is that we are victorious in reducing the barriers to the flourishing of individual Americans. Until Mr. Bush came along, the last decade has seen the recurring scenario of Democrats asking for $180 billion in spending and Republicans believing they represent fiscal austerity by asking for only $140 billion. Such a downsized request is no big improvement for conservatives. The solution is not to fund programs without knowing that first, the problem they supposedly combat actually exists, and, second, that the program being advocated has good odds of being effective in the reduction of that problem. Many current programs could not meet this test.

Republicans can no longer put forth a RINO face. We should not allow the taxpayers to continue to donate tribute and bounty for the federal government to endlessly perspire away in directionless ventures. When it comes to decreasing the size of government there can be no middle ground. Lesser government is more and this must be the presumption for all Republicans. Our president has done fine work but now it's time for the citizens to finish the job.

Bernard Chapin is a school psychologist and adjunct faculty member in Chicago. He can be reached at emeritus@flash.net.

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