In High School I considered myself a Democrat, committed to compassionate pursuits. It wasn't until I began to understand the theory of tax cuts, and how it works to stimulate the economy--particularly the poor--that I began to become a Republican. In short order I was a free-marker Republican, and have been since. George F. Will
's column from a few days ago reminds me of the stark contrast between the parties, and the primary reason why I chose to register as a Republican.
In 2002, when [the Bush] tax cuts kicked in and the economy began 65 months -- so far -- of uninterrupted growth, critics said: But it is a "jobless recovery." When the unemployment rate steadily declined -- today it is 4.5 percent; time was, 6 percent was considered full employment -- critics said: Well, all right, the economy is growing and creating jobs and wealth, but the wealth is not being distributed in accordance with the laws of God or Nature or liberalism or something.
Twenty-three months after the next president is inaugurated, the Bush tax cuts expire. The winner of the 2008 election and her or his congressional allies will determine what is done about the fact that, unless action is taken, in 2011 the economy will be walloped:
The five income tax brackets (10, 25, 28, 33 and 35 percent) will be increased 50, 12, 10.7, 9.1 and 13.1 percent, respectively, to 15, 28, 31, 36 and 39.6 percent. The child tax credit reverts to $500 from $1,000. The estate tax rate, which falls to zero in 2009, will snap back to a 60 percent maximum, and exemptions that have increased will decrease. The capital gains rate will rise, and the marriage penalty will be revived, as will the double taxation of dividends.
What is most notable about this is that the lowest-income tax bracket will undergo the greatest tax increase, by percentage.
Democrats ... can send their tax agenda to the president and dare him to veto it. They can, but they won't. Do you wonder why?