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Tax cuts without spending cuts: a positive equation?

Regarding the Sept. 29 article, "Bush's latest tax cuts seal legacy": You don't cut taxes when military spending is increasing and millions of Americans are poor, homeless, malnourished, or without the basic necessities of life. The best way to stimulate the economy is not from the top down, but from the bottom up, that is, by creating more jobs here at home and paying people a living wage - in short, by increasing the purchasing power of the masses.

Bush and the Republicans seem to have only one solution to our economic woes: cutting taxes for the rich; increasing military spending; and, when the inevitable deficit ensues, balancing the budget on the backs of the poor.
Charles Edelman
Los Angeles

Regarding your Sept. 28 editorial, "Latest Tax Cuts Are Not a Wash": I admire the common-sense forthrightness of your closing comments about the need to "pay" for tax cuts by cutting spending.

I live in a state where tax shifts are often called tax cuts and budgets have recurring structural deficits. I once suggested to a governor's handler that a true tax cut had to be accompanied by an equal and opposite spending cut. He looked at me as if I were from Pluto, and I was never invited to any political strategy parties.
Tim Haering
Madison, Wis.

While I agree that cutting spending is always good, I fail to see why cutting spending is a prerequisite for letting people keep more of what they earn. Cutting taxes for individuals means they spend more, save more, and invest more. Cutting taxes for business means they expand, buy new equipment, hire more workers, or pay the same workers more.

In the zero-sum world of the deficit hawks, it would appear that cutting taxes equals cutting revenue. In the real world, tax cuts increase economic activity.

Despite media reports that the $422 billion deficit projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30 is a record, it is not a record either in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars or as a percentage of gross domestic product. Adjusted for inflation, the deficit was significantly higher in 1943, the last time we fought a world war. Today, we are also fighting a world war - the war on terror.
Daniel John Sobieski

$87 billion bill includes extras

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