Proposed tax cut could help revitalize our sluggish...


January 14, 2001

Proposed tax cut could help revitalize our sluggish economy

In its editorial "Greenspan vs. Bush" (Jan. 8), The Sun presented an ill-informed and rather biased view of monetary policy.

One of the goals of both monetary and fiscal policy should be job creation. And, with announced and unannounced layoffs on the horizon, it is even more important for policy to be geared toward job creation.

President-elect George W. Bush would decrease all marginal tax rates, providing individuals more to save, invest and spend. His tax cuts would also increase cash flow to sole proprietorships and unincorporated businesses. Additional cash to small businesses would allow them to invest and create jobs.

The Sun's assertion that monetary policy is the only way to repair an economy is plain wrong.

The capital markets will have to work through their problems. Energy prices are way too high and hurt poor people the most. Consumers will have to help out in the California utilities crisis. But looser monetary policy will not solve these problems.

Consistent with a balanced budget and continued debt reduction, the Bush administration can and should go through with its tax cut.

Steven M. Postal


That The Sun is opposed to a tax cut is not surprising; that it would distort the positions of President-elect George W. Bush and Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan is ("Greenspan vs. Bush," editorial, Jan. 8).

Mr. Bush has not been an economic "doomsayer." He has said the economy is in a "slowdown" and a recession is more likely than it has been in years, but that the outlook is relatively good -- a view shared by most economists.

Further, The Sun has repeatedly characterized Mr. Greenspan as unequivocally opposed to tax cuts.

But, while Mr. Greenspan did urge patience before using projected surpluses for a tax cut, in mid-1999 he also said, "if it turns out that instead [the surplus] is being spent, then I very strongly support tax cuts" because "the least desirable [outcome] is using those surpluses for expanding outlays."

In any event, the recent interest rate reduction, in itself, sheds no new light on the chairman's views on tax cuts.

William E. Fleischmann


Tax cut would cost the middle class

I agree with The Sun's editorial "Greenspan vs. Bush" (Jan. 8) that a tax cut right now is bad medicine.

The economy -- except maybe manufacturing -- is actually doing quite well. The best adjustment, as The Sun suggests, would be to lower the very interest rates that caused the too-rapid expansion to become a reasonable expansion.

The point The Sun missed is that Mr. Bush is hammering on a broad tax cut to pay back the rich, whose hundreds of millions bought him both the GOP nomination and the election.

They would be the main beneficiaries of a broad tax cut, which would save them billions that the vast middle class would eventually end up paying.

Philip L. Marcus


Achcroft practiced the politics of destruction

Opponents of former Sen. John Ashcroft's nomination for attorney general will "perpetuate the politics of personal destruction that they pretend to deplore," laments Theodore B. Olson ("Flash point in the cultural wars," Jan. 7).

That sounds like an apt description of the tactics Mr. Ashcroft employed when he labeled an African-American judge "pro-criminal" in a successful effort to kill his nomination to the federal bench.

Samuel I. Rosenberg


The writer represents the 42nd District in the House of Delegates.

Private schools aren't always good neighbors

Thank you John Walters for calling a spade a spade ("Ideas to brighten Baltimore's future," Dec. 31).

Private education institutions in Baltimore have been held in such esteem that the non-property taxpaying, big business aspect of their operations is overlooked.

But their decisions are often based on self-interest, not what is beneficial to the community. Their expansion is at times detrimental to residential neighborhoods and taxpaying citizens.

The special treatment and carte blanche afforded them by city government can no longer be condoned.

Shirley T. Hollander


School's foes exaggerate city's possible revenue loss

As a resident of the Tuscany-Canterbury neighborhood, I am distressed by the factual inaccuracies circulated by the anti-Calvert School expansion group ("School's expansion would cut tax base, hurt neighborhood" letters, Jan, 8).

To set the record straight, according to the state Department of Assessments and Taxation (and confirmed by the property owner of 4300 N. Charles St.), the annual property tax on 4300 N. Charles St. is only $113,000.

Lisa M.S. Thompson


East Coast must learn from California's mistakes

Californians have only themselves to blame for the West Coast power crisis ("Power plight worsens in Calif.," Jan. 6). For years, the state prohibited the building of power plants, forcing utilities to look out of state for power.

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