Tax-cut certainty: greater national debt

As the Monitor has stated in "Can the tax cuts jumpstart economy?" (May 23), it is uncertain how much the newest tax cuts will stimulate the economy. But two things are certain: First, that there will be great increases in the national debt arising from budget deficits; and second, that it will be politically difficult to repeal or even reduce the tax cuts.

The generous tax cut that President Reagan gave the wealthy in 1981 resulted in huge annual deficits and the quadrupling of the national debt during the 12 years of the administrations of Reagan and the elder President Bush.

When President Clinton urged an income-tax increase in 1993, even though only families with taxable incomes in excess of $140,000 a year were affected, he was able to get this tax increase passed by only a single vote in the House. Moreover, in 1994 the voters threw out the Democrat majorities from both House and Senate.
George Immerwahr
Kenmore, Wash.

Importance of local politics

I take exception to Beth Waldron's comments in her May 22 Opinion piece that local jurisdictions have no business expressing opinions on national subjects ("All politics should not be local").

When our representatives in Washington are ignoring the opinions of many Americans, it is extremely important for our citizens to express their displeasure via any venue to which they have access. This is especially true in an era when many of us are convinced that money talks and not much else gets heard.

Those 96 municipalities that passed resolutions opposing the Patriot Act are expressing the heartfelt opposition of American citizens to the conduct of the administration in power. This administration ignores that message at its own risk.
Bob McGee
Placerville, Calif.

How many regimes should we end?

In John Hughes's May 7 Opinion column "Treat Iraq's dark chapter like holocaust - remember" on the Iraq war, Mr. Hughes states, "Even if weapons of mass destruction are never found and the connection to Al Qaeda is never established beyond all doubt, putting an end to this despicable regime has been a noble cause."

So does that mean no proof of WMD or Al Qaeda links was worth the loss of 5,000 to 10,000 Iraqi civilian lives (as the Monitor recently reported) and the lives of approximately 180 British and US troops?

And how many "despicable regimes" (many worse than Saddam Hussein's) throughout the world - past and present - should we have "put an end to" through invasion and the sacrifice of American lives? The list is extremely long. I'm not sure we'd have any military left.
Brewster Moseley
Bozeman, Mont.

Reconstruction is not a simple task

Regarding Daniel Schorr's May 23 Opinion column, "The quagmire of liberation gone sour": Of course there is a great deal of frustration and anger stemming from a desire to see everything fall perfectly into place - but this business of postwar reconstruction in Iraq is not a simple jigsaw puzzle to be swiftly reassembled after years of direction by a heinous and venal government.

Mr. Schorr's blanket statements denigrating the coalition's efforts thus far smack of someone seeking to find fault a priori - much like someone who, while observing a painting, notes only one particular color scheme, while ignoring the many other colors, tones, and blends that also appear in the picture.
John Luce
Brookfield, Conn.

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