- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 29, 2000

George W. Bush's tax reform plan, as extensively reported by the media, has many Americans convinced that it would squander the projected budget surplus, destroy Social Security and Medicare, reward the unworthy wealthy, run up the national debt, endanger education, deprive poor children of health care, force old people to eat dog food, and ruin the economy.

In his speech to the Democratic National Convention, Gore promised to fight against such disasters. “Let me say it plainly,” he said, “I will not go along with a huge tax cut for the wealthy at the expense of everyone else and wreck our good economy in the process.” Gore stressed that his own targeted tax cuts would go to the “right people.” Bill Clinton chimed in with the stunning observation that Republicans are “giving all your money away in tax cuts.”

Gore and Clinton are clearly appalled at the idea of Bush's across-the-board tax reforms, which give a tax break to everyone who pays federal income taxes. Bush's plan drops over 6 million low-income families from the income tax rolls. He then proposes to cut marginal federal income tax rates by 33 percent for those in the lowest tax bracket, 25 percent for those in the middle brackets, and about 20 percent for those in the top bracket.

At the moment, America is projected to have a budget surplus of $2.173 trillion over the next 10 years. The big debate is about what to do with all that extra money. Bush's plan returns $1.3 trillion to taxpayers. This contrasts sharply with what Gore would like to do with it. According to Tom E. McClusky of The National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF), Gore will spend the $2.173 trillion surplus. He will not spend part of it, he will spend all of it to establish new entitlements, fill old pork barrels, and grow bureaucracies.

Following a detailed analysis of promises made by Gore in his convention speech and on his Internet Web page, and using Congressional Budget Office figures and the 2001 federal budget, McClusky concluded that “Vice President Gore's total agenda over 10 years would equal $2.334 trillion, swallowing all of the surplus — actually creating a deficit of $161 billion.”

In addition to this new spending, Al Gore has proposed $500 billion for targeted tax cuts aimed at the “right people.” Fifty-million untargeted American families, apparently the “wrong people,” will get no tax relief whatsoever.

Liberal Democrats have a perfect rationale for never giving income tax cuts. That rationale is this: since the top 50 percent of income tax payers pay 95 percent of all income taxes, it is virtually impossible to cut income taxes without the greedy and un-needy upper class getting some of their money back — and that isn't fair. As Clinton says, those Republicans are trying to give all “your money” away.

Additionally, based on their fear that some of the tax relief might go to “the wealthy,” Gore and Clinton oppose current legislation repealing the marriage penalty, the estate (death) tax, and the tax they imposed on Social Security benefits.

This is overt class warfare of the Marxian sort. It is a shameless appeal to the most primitive and destructive components of basic human nature: jealousy and resentment. Riches may corrupt some, but lusting for unachieved riches corrupts many more.

Using tactics taken directly from the “how to” manual of the communist party, liberal politicians preach that the wealthy upper class has exploited the proletariat. They spread the lie that the size of the economic pie is finite, that when one man succeeds, it is necessarily at the expense of others.

Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, created hundreds of thousands of jobs and enriched the American economy. He greatly increased the size of the economic pie and kept a mere fraction for himself. He is not a “powerful force” from whom the “people” must be protected. He is an American hero.

At the heart of American capitalism is the principle that what a man earns by his creativity and effort, no matter how much or little, is his own. It is not the property of government, and no other citizen, no matter how needy, has a claim or a right to it. This is one of the core principles that made America the most prosperous nation the world has ever known. It is a principle based on individual sovereignty and freedom.

This principle is under assault by powerful government forces.

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