Tag: tax cuts

Tax Cuts & the Poor: Reagan & Now

When Ronald Reagan took office back in 1981, he had three goals: a tax cut to stimulate the economy; cutting back on federal spending and regulations; and building up the American military to a state of preparedness after a post-Vietnam demise. He accomplished all of those except for the cutback on federal spending. Some blamed his military buildup for that, but the bulk of the increased spending was on the domestic side—Democrats who controlled the House wouldn’t allow any sensible… Read more »

Bush's Decisions

Over Christmas, I took the opportunity to read former President Bush’s new book Decision Points. I did so for two reasons: first, I really wanted to “hear” what he had to say; second, as an American historian, I need to be up to speed on how this former president defends his actions. Let me begin with what I consider to be its strengths. The first strength is Bush’s informal writing style. You get the impression this is exactly how he… Read more »

An Endangered Tax Deal?

That tax deal I wrote about yesterday may be in trouble. The biggest potential obstacleƂ resides in the outcry on the Left. They feel betrayed by “their” president. They can’t stomach the idea that no one making more than $250,000 will be penalized by higher taxes. In their Marxian worldview, this appears to be unfair. There is no guarantee that enough Democrats in Congress will support this deal. On the Right, there are concerns as well. Sen. Jim DeMint is… Read more »

The Tax Deal

It appears an agreement has been reached between Democrats and Republicans with respect to the Bush tax cuts—they will be extended for two years for all taxpayers [I was going to write “all Americans,” but then I realized many Americans pay no income tax—52% of us cover the other 48%]. In announcing this agreement, President Obama was more than a little testy. In fact, he came across as downright petulant. One could be forgiven for calling his demeanor pouty. He… Read more »

Idols of Power

I always like to recommend good books. Usually, I focus on newer releases, but once in a while I want to point out a largely forgotten book that deserves more of an audience. One such book is Herbert Schlossberg’s Idols for Destruction. Schlossberg aims at the various idols men create to take the place of God. One of his chapters, “Idols of History,” I use in my Historiography course. Another, “Idols of Power,” fits nicely in a new course I… Read more »

Posturing, Politics, and Principle

The congressional song and dance on the extension of the Bush tax cuts has been fascinating to watch. The Democrats try to position themselves as the champions of the middle class while excoriating the Republicans as tools of the filthy rich. The Republicans, meanwhile, push for extending the tax cuts to all Americans rather than just the middle class. That puts them in a bad light in the eyes of some, but those who can analyze and think clearly realize… Read more »