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Republicans misleading on tax plan

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POSTED December 25, 2017 11:43 p.m.

Editor, Manteca Bulletin,
This is response to Pat Buchanan’s column (“Republicans bet the farm”) of Dec. 22.
Pat repeats a lot of things in a way that mischaracterizes them.
I’ll start with the Reagan era tax cuts. The first occurred in 1981, the GDP growth that year was 2.6%. The following year it was -1.9%. In 1983 there was a tax hike to counter that slide and the GDP growth was 4.6% followed by 7.3% in 1984. In 1986 there was another tax cut and GDP dropped to 3.5% followed by “Black Monday” in 1987.
In retrospect, the 1984 growth was a result of a tax hike and increased defense spending, not a tax cut.
Clearly the failed supply side experiments, in Kansas most recently, should have provided a cautionary tale for our current Congress but it hasn’t.
On to Pat’s description of a Democrat: Should one infer Republicans aren’t a party in our Government or that their goal is no government? Perhaps Thoreau’s “That government is best which governs least.” but he was arguing for near anarchy ala Steve Bannon as Thoreau goes on to say “That government is best which governs not at all”.
Yes, Democrats want to produce a more egalitarian society but we don’t embrace a Robin Hood stealing from the rich to give to the poor (for that matter we don’t embrace taking your guns either, not to mention I own a gun).
But I digress. The founding fathers believed in an egalitarian society as much as they were concerned with the tyranny of the masses. Our system of governance is a Republic to attempt a balance against the excesses of a pure democracy. Bear in mind being a Democrat or a Republican is not based in either of these things. All of us adults understand we’re living in a representative democratic Republic.
Here’s the deal, Democrats want to see more of the wealth generated by the hands of working Americans end up in those honest working hands. The Republican tax plan says it will do just that but it won’t. History will repeat itself because history is driven by reality, not ideology and we will see stagnation not growth. Worse, we’ll see our social safety net disrupted further.
What has happened historically after a tax cut is the Republicans cry poor and start scavenging money from other revenue streams to cover the short falls they have created. PAYGO puts Medicare and Social Security in their sights.
Thankfully Trump signed the bill this year allowing many of the negative consequences to kick in Jan. 1, 2018 instead of deferring them a year. That will help the American public see how degrading our social services is part of Trump’s “Make America Great Again”.
And Pat’s parting shot at Mueller? Any prosecutor worth their salt doesn’t brag about the details of their case. It undermines the effort to create a solid case in so many ways. I’m sure Manafort and Flynn know Meuller is on solid ground. To quote Rachel “Watch this space”.

Dennis Burke
Manteca

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