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Letters: The 'fiscal cliff' and Bush

December 08, 2012

Re "Let's take the plunge," Opinion, Dec. 5

Jack Shakely misrepresents the effects of George W. Bush's tax cuts by choosing a questionable ending date for his analysis. His starting point was the date of tax-cut implementation, 2003, and his ending date was late 2012, a period that included the Great Recession that began in 2007.

Had Shakely looked at the effects of the tax cuts between 2003 and 2008, he would have found that this period was characterized mostly by economic growth, increases in tax revenue and decreasing budget deficits. The Bush-era tax cuts did, in fact, accomplish their stated goal.

Grey Tilley

Irvine

Nearly 10 years have passed since President Bush and the GOP-controlled Congress forced into law their flawed fiscal fantasy — that the federal budget could be balanced with deep tax cuts and no reduction in spending. Bush and Congress — and gullible taxpayers eager to have some magical tax-cut genie lighten their burden — ignored the 450 economists who warned of profoundly adverse effects on the nation's economy.

As Shakely notes, those economists' predictions proved accurate, which now leaves legislators struggling to undo improvident Bush-era tax cuts. It's a shame that 10 years ago no one listened to the economists or considered how tough it might be to put the tax-cut genie back in his bottle.

Christine Hagel

Orcutt, Calif.

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