Tax reform should center on fairness, what's really needed

-- Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal, Tupelo, - May 7

Posted: Tuesday, May 15, 2001

... President Bush started off like gangbusters with his proposed $1.6 trillion, phased-in income tax cut and a tax rebate for every American taxpaying household.

That was when a slumping stock market and a season of the economic dismals following the holiday spending sprees gave the nation a set of the jitters. The latest information suggests a more robust economy than previously thought possible during the first quarter, and that tempers talk of rebates and tax cuts.

Every new president deserves a fair hearing and, in most cases, a honeymoon from overt criticism of every word uttered and action taken. President George W. Bush had both during his first 100 days. During that time some things changed from what they had been at the beginning of the year. Nobody who's beyond the ideological core of his support believed Bush would get the full $1.6 trillion tax cut he sought.

Budget surpluses -- sought for various reasons by both parties -- could not be sustained with a $1.6 trillion cut. Too large a cut and rising government costs combined would reduce discretionary spending, that most coveted commodity of every state's delegation. ...

Taxes are necessary. They should be held to what's needed. Those and issues of fairness produce the balancing debate necessary in any proposals for tax reform.

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