- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 23, 2001

Last-ditch effort
While liberals in Congress and on the editorial pages moan and wretch over the pending Bush tax cut, the conservative Club for Growth is scarcely any happier.
"The risk of major Republican losses in the House and Senate has risen dramatically as Congress dithers over a tax bill that is so back-end loaded it will provide almost no immediate help to the economy," the clubs board of directors — Stephen Moore, Thomas Rhodes and Richard Gilder — said in a letter Monday to its contributors.
"Economic performance is a prime determinant of political performance. Congressional losses in 2002 will clearly impact the even more crucial 2004 race.
"We have been relentless in our efforts to get the White House and Congress to understand the need for more immediate tax cut stimulus. We want a 15 percent capital gains tax cut effective immediately, which would help the stock market and promote more capital investment and job creation. We have made some progress in getting this on the agenda, but not enough to carry the day.
"We could use your help. Please call or write or e-mail your congressman or senator or the [Republican National Committee] and impress upon them your disappointment that the tax bill does not contain any provisions that will provide an immediate boost to the economy. Please talk up the need for a capital gains cut right now.
"We wish we had better news to report, but there is still time even at this late stage of the game to fix things. Thanks for your help. We will keep fighting."

Rumors of sellout

"We should know before Memorial Day whether the famous Bush tax bill has been written to help the economy or to help the Beltway — not the same thing," the Wall Street Journal says.
"The talk of the town is that White House operatives are preparing to sell out on the economics in favor of securing the wholly political victory of having passed something called 'a tax cut. And those White House operatives who can still be reached swear that rumors of sell-out are poppycock," the newspaper said in an editorial.
"When candidate Bush proposed a pro-growth tax cut — lowering marginal income tax rates to 10-15-25-33 percent from their current 15-28-33-36-39.6 percent — it seemed almost radical. After all, the economy was still steaming. The tax proposal contributed greatly to Mr. Bushs total vote, but the question now is whether people are getting the bill they thought they were voting for.
"The concern is that the cut in the top rates are evanescing and being backloaded, as if a decade is but a tomorrow away. As of now, the only rate reduction that will be fully active this year is a new 10 percent bracket for the first $12,000 of income for couples and $6,000 for single filers. This would have the least powerful impact on economic incentives.
"The most potent bill possible would achieve a top rate of 33 percent and would frontload the timing of these rate reductions, ideally now. Much of the bills baggage could be abandoned to achieve this result."

Raines on Reagan

Howell Raines, who was named Monday to become executive editor of the New York Times, is a veteran Reagan-hater, the conservative Media Research Center says.
In a 1993 book, Mr. Raines, a former White House correspondent, wrote that "reporting on President Reagans success in making life harder for citizens who were not born rich, white, and healthy — saddened me."
During a Nov. 17, 1993, interview on Charlie Roses PBS show, Mr. Raines said: "The Reagan years oppressed me because of the callousness and the greed and the hard-hearted attitude toward people who have very little in this society."
In his book, Mr. Raines wrote: "In 1981, shortly before the inauguration of Ronald Reagan, my family and I arrived in Washington. I was 38. I attributed any twinges of unhappiness I felt in those days to bad timing and the cycles of politics. My parents raised me to admire generosity and to feel pity. I had arrived in our nations capital during a historic ascendancy of greed and hard-heartedness."

FBI seizes records

Federal agents probing the 1996 campaign of New Jersey Sen. Robert Torricelli seized more than 1,000 pages of records from the Morris County Democratic Organization — the second such seizure in recent months.
FBI investigators took memos, internal documents and other records Monday that detail the Morris organizations efforts on behalf of Mr. Torricellis campaign, the Record of Hackensack reported yesterday.
County Democratic Chairman Paul Bangiola declined to comment on the matter, saying only that he had "great faith in Mr. Torricellis integrity," the Associated Press reports.
In March, agents sought documents from the Democratic organization in Bergen County, Mr. Torricellis home county. The newspaper quoted sources as saying that authorities are investigating whether the Torricelli campaign tried to get around campaign finance laws by having contributors give money to the county organization and then having the organization pay some campaign expenses.
Mr. Torricelli was a Bergen County congressman in 1996 when he raised and spent more than $9 million to defeat Republican Dick Zimmer for an open Senate seat. He has repeatedly denied any illegal activities during the campaign.
Mr. Torricelli has faced growing scrutiny over his personal and political finances, partly stemming from contributions made by businessman David Chang, who pleaded guilty to making $53,700 in improper donations to Mr. Torricellis campaign. He has reportedly told prosecutors that he gave Mr. Torricelli gifts and tens of thousands of dollars in cash to get his help with some international business deals.

Reparations backed

The Philadelphia Inquirer has endorsed the idea of slavery reparations.
"Recent investigations into race riots in places such as Rosewood, Fla., and Tulsa, Okla., have brought reparations to the fore," the newspaper said in an editorial. "The writings of people like Randall Robinson, author of 'The Debt: What America Owes to Blacks, and conservative columnist David Horowitz, have broadened and energized the debate. Slavery and the century of government-sanctioned discrimination that followed were national policies that denied fundamental rights — justice, equality, freedom — to African Americans. It will take a national effort to answer for that."
The newspaper urged President Bush and Congress to support legislation sponsored by Rep. John Conyers, Michigan Democrat, that would establish a commission to study the impact of slavery and recommend remedies.

Davis' 'attack dogs'

California Gov. Gray Davis, already under pressure because of his failure to solve the states energy woes, is now getting heat for hiring two veteran Democratic political operatives at taxpayer expense.
"If the governor wants to hire political attack dogs, that is his business," Republican state Sen. Jim Brulte told the San Francisco Chronicle. "But the appropriate funding would be the Governor Davis Campaign Committee, not the taxpayers."
Mr. Davis announced last week that he had hired Mark Fabiani and Chris Lehane — top staffers in Democrat Al Gores losing presidential campaign — to "coordinate the governors communications staff on energy issues," according to the Associated Press. The Fabiani-Lehane team will be paid $30,000 a month from state coffers.


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