GOP enabling their corporate keepers | SierraSun.com

GOP enabling their corporate keepers

Louis Richnak
My Turn

I read Representative Doolittle’s column (“It’s time to bury the death tax” Sierra Sun June 12) with interest. I’m shocked that he is proposing additional tax cuts that will cost the U.S. Treasury at least $355 billion over the next 10 years without the slightest suggestion as to how he proposes to pay for these tax breaks for the richest of the rich.

Over the past year, George W. Bush and his enablers in Congress have obsessed on how to pay for the “looming” Social Security shortfall 75 years from now (currently the Social Security trust fund generates $150 billion surplus annually) but seemed uninterested in dealing with our staggering national debt ($7.8 trillion or $13.5 trillion if state and local debt are included).

George Bush promised to eliminate the national debt in his first State of the Union address, however, he has managed to increase the debt by a third. If all his tax cuts to date are extended, as is likely, they will cost our children and grandchildren about $300 billion a year over the next 10 years. Yet George W. and John D. persist in providing further tax breaks for the wealthy fund raiser and ignoring the $150,000 “birth tax” (N.Y. Times, June 26, 2005) that is the legacy of every child born in America today.

Today, the United States is the world’s largest debtor. More than 50 percent of Treasury bonds in 2004 were in foreign hands and today three quarters of all new Treasury bonds are taken up by our creditors in Asia, thanks to current accounts deficit and our reckless spending on preemptive wars. David Walker, the comptroller general of the U.S., warns that “the greatest threat to our future is our fiscal irresponsibility. Last year may have been the most fiscally reckless in the history of our republic. Aside from the budget deficit, Congress enacted the prescription drug benefit ” possibly an $8 trillion obligation ” without figuring out how to pay for it.”

When Walker was asked about Paul Volcker’s (former Fed chairman’s) warning that within five years we face a 75 percent chance of a serious financial crisis, he replied: “If we don’t get serious soon, it’s not a question of whether it will come, but when and how serious.” (N.Y. Times, June 26, 2005)

More than two centuries of American government produced a national debt of $5.7 trillion when George W. Bush was “elected” in 2000. Now, it is expected to almost double by 2010 to $l0.8 trillion. (N.Y. Times, June 26, 2005) How could this happen? Kevin Phillips in his recently published book, “American Theocracy,” writes: “The Republican theology of tax cutting is an item of faith, not logic, and this across a spectrum from domestic economics to science and constitutional jurisprudence reflecting the strong fundamentalist and Pentecostal influence of George Bush’s base.”

We all used to think of the Republicans as flinty-jawed, green-eyeshade-wearing, no-nonsense money managers. No longer. They’ve thrown off the green eyeshades and have joined the raging army on K street, while enabling their generous corporate keepers.

Louis Richnak is an Olympic Valley resident.