- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 22, 2000

Noble: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, for cutting taxes in a land unfriendly to supply-siders.

Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schroeder were supposed to represent a "third way" in politics. A way in which the government could both shrink and provide more services. In the United States and England this fallacy quickly fell apart. In Germany the fallacy not only fell on its face, but Mr. Schroeder's center-left government has actually cut taxes, proving there are two ways in politics the "third way" and the right way.

Mr. Schroeder's tax cuts include pairing down the income tax (top marginal rate will fall to 42 percent, from 51 percent), corporate taxes will plummet (to 25 percent, from 40 percent) and double taxation on dividends will be cut. Capital-gains levies on the sale of corporate assets will be completely eliminated, which is the "most arresting part" of the package, according to Josef Joffe, writing in the Wall Street Journal. The whole package will mean Germans will get to keep about $24 billion more of their money in the coming years.

The benefits of this tax-cut plan were almost immediately apparent. Although, the cuts will take five years to trickle down the economy, the German stock market responded to the news by shooting up 1.7 percent. Amazingly, Mr. Schroeder's tax-cut coalition was a gaggle of the left-wing tax and spend stripe. After the cuts were announced conservatives all over the world marveled that Mr. Schroeder's Social Democrat and ecologists coalition was able to cut taxes while Chancellor Helmut Kohl was not. Mr. Kohl headed a center-right government for nearly two decades, raising taxes along the way.

In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan led the West in cutting taxes, and returning power to the people. Mr. Schroeder is now able to build on, if not co-opt, their success. For this he is noble of the week.

• Knave: Rep. Lynn Woolsey, California Democrat, for being intolerant in the name of tolerance.

The Boy Scouts of America are now officially on the Democrat Party hit list. Their offense? Refusing to let go of a moral standard they have held onto for almost 100 years. Rep. Lynn Woolsey fired one of most recent shots in the attack on the Boy Scouts. This week the California Democrat asked Congress to revoke the Boy Scouts' honorary charter her bill will almost certainly not pass a Republican controlled Congress a largely symbolic gesture that comes in the wake of the recent Supreme Court ruling allowing the Boy Scouts to expel gay scoutmasters. Mrs. Woolsey and her Democrat friends are upset that Congress had long ago granted the Boy Scouts an honorary charter and thereby recognizes it as an organization with a "patriotic, charitable or educational purpose."

Mrs. Woolsey's intentions seem clear. If her bill, by some dramatic tragedy, were to pass, the Boy Scouts would not be unencumbered in going about their daily business. Nor would the bill force the organization to accept gay scoutmasters, at least not directly. The bill is simply a whip with which to hit those who do not accept the Democrats' view on homosexuality which is that everyone must accept, embrace and pander to the lifestyle. Mrs. Woolsey wants Congress to make a bold statement that it does not accept the Boy Scouts' position on free association and will therefore no longer embrace the organization that has served America since 1910.

This gambit has already gone too far. Mrs. Woolsey's bill comes on the heels of a letter to Bill Clinton signed by 11 Democrat leaders calling on the president to resign as the honorary head of the Boy Scouts. While Mr. Clinton is certainly no moral role model for the Boy Scouts, the office of the presidency has held the honorary top slot since William Howard Taft. The letter is an attempt to build some up credibility for an otherwise absurd position that opinions which dissent from the Democrat's view on homosexuality cannot be tolerated. Oddly, Mrs. Woolsey claims to be speaking out against "intolerance," but ends up simply a knave.

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