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President Bush's Budget Priorities

March 04, 2001

* Re President Bush's budget speech: I cringe every time I hear President Bush warn that unless a big chunk of the surplus is returned to the people Congress will spend it. What is wrong with government spending on worthwhile projects such as fixing our rotting bridges, modernizing the air traffic control system and making other needed infrastructure improvements?

Government spending will stimulate the economy as much as a tax cut, because the money allocated to government programs is pumped right back into the economy. Money spent on a new bridge is just as stimulating as money spent on a yacht or new TV.

More important, infrastructure improvements will help all Americans by contributing to the generation of future wealth.

SYLVAN GOLLIN

Claremont

*

Candidate George W. Bush promised to bring a new tone to Washington. At first, I didn't believe it. However, if Bush's recent address is any measure, he has lived up to his promise. Thank goodness. From the moment President Bush entered the House chamber, he acknowledged the efforts of both parties; he offered compromises where disagreement used to block the road to reform; and he spoke optimistically about the future. But more important than the new tone was the new substance. Bush proposed legislation to improve education, make government smaller and lower taxes. I've gotten behind him and urge others to do the same.

LANNY MIDDINGS

Fresno

*

Why does George W. so persistently push his tax cut when 53% of Americans, according to James Pinkerton's Feb. 28 commentary, favor a more economically sound as well as more egalitarian tax cut favored by the Democrats? How can he ignore public opinion? Do the economically privileged not bother to read the lips of the majority and only focus on their own?

JIM HOOVER

Huntington Beach

*

Bush is ambitious--he wants to change the laws of not only economics but math as well. Presidents Reagan and Bush Sr. were more modest--they stuck to changing the laws of economics with trickle-down voodoo economics and promised that would make the federal debt disappear; instead it quintupled the debt. The current Bush wants to do trickle-down economics all over again, but in addition clearly promises to spend every dollar that he first spends on tax cuts favoring the wealthiest 1% a second time on education, debt relief, military pay, space wars, etc.

President Bush, listen to your dad: Voodoo economics won't be saved by voodoo math. He, along with all the rest of us, learned that the hard way.

MARTIN KOTOWSKI

Sherman Oaks

*

The expressions of insolence and disdain on the faces of the Democratic hierarchy when Bush suggested in his speech that the tax surplus belongs to the taxpayers and that a small amount should be returned was extraordinary. The Democratic Party has nothing but contempt for the American people. We are but slaves to build their pyramids ever higher.

GAIL CONDREN

Los Angeles

*

I support the president's tax cut. It will mean over $200 per month that we will have to spend. Now, that is good for the economy.

DAVID DREWRY

Sacramento

*

In your Feb. 28 editorial you make some valid and important points about the president's proposals, but then you lightly ask, "And why not give wage earners some relief on the Social Security/Medicare payroll tax, which now is the largest tax for most workers?" Because it's a very bad idea, that's why.

Social Security and Medicare are facing serious financial problems in the next 10 or 20 years, when the baby boomers leave the taxpaying category and start receiving benefits. There will have to be a fix: probably a combination of higher retirement age, reduced or modified benefits and increased payroll taxes.

In any case, a current reduction in Social Security/Medicare payroll taxes would be ill-advised, inappropriate and dangerous as a short-term adjustment to tax burdens.

LOUIS GARFIN

Oceanside

*

Bush says that we've been "overcharged" and deserve "a refund." His proposal ignores the fact that a hefty portion of our tax bill goes to interest payments. I'd rather have the real savings that comes from owing less than a false "refund" that is financed by revolving debt.

CHRISTOPHER PLOURDE

Venice

*

If our goal is to cut taxes and aid education, why not simply eliminate all federal income tax for public school teachers? That would create an additional incentive for talented people to enter and stay in the profession and provide financial support to every local school district, without interfering with local control.

PAUL SAILER

Los Angeles

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