Spacer Republican Tax Cuts
  | Asymmetry | Writing | Republican Tax Cuts |



Republican Tax Cuts

I am writing this in such a good mood, and it's a rare thing for the newspaper to do that to me. It might be one of those things that's too good to be true, but I'm going to savor it anyway.

On Monday, the Globe carried a story about Republican stumpers coming to the unpleasant realization that maybe there are things their constituents want more than tax cuts. Excuse me while I revel in a moment of sheer bliss.

Thank you. Sorry about that. It's just that for the past six months or so, ever since this budget surplus was forecast, I've felt like a very, very lonely stalk of corn in a tomato patch, wondering if I was the only one of my kind, the only person in the country, of any political party, who was the slightest bit leery of this whole surplus thing. Instead, while Congress wrangles over how to spend the money and the President threatens to veto suggestions that he doesn't particularly like, I have not, apparently, been alone in the back of the classroom, sticking up my hand and waving it tentatively, saying, "Maybe we should wait and find out if there really IS a surplus BEFORE we decide how to spend it, guys?"

Forecasts, after all, have been wrong in the past.

According to the story, things are more or less how you'd expect them to be: the answers depend on how the question gets asked. Want a tax cut, Joe Average? Heck yeah! Want a tax cut even if it means that Program Y gets no funding, Mindy Mediocre? In that case, maybe not.

It's just the thought, the mere hint of a possibility, that some things are more important than tax cuts. That it might be a good idea to have some of that money in hand before setting up a program that's going to affect taxation in this country for the next ten or twenty years. Things have been going very, very well, and a lot of people have benefited; I'll be among the first to admit that fact. But while "sieze the day" may be good advice in war, in chess, and in life in general, it's usually not a good attitude to take toward legislation that will affect millions of people for years to come.

When the heat of emotion dies down, and there's more of an indication that things are either going to keep going well or stop going well, then we might want to talk tax cuts. Or Social Security, or the highways, or crime, or any one of a billion other topics. But for the moment, let's not talk tax cuts and those other topics. There are more important things on people's minds. And I'm thrilled that the Republicans are going to have to deal with that fact in the next election year.

| Top |


Except where otherwise noted, all material on this site is © 1999 Rebecca J. Stevenson