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Tax pledge dodge thrall - Commentary - The Washington Times, America's Newspaper

by Christopher Chantrill
February 26, 2007 at 11:31 am

HERE’S a no-brainer, brought to you by opinion columnist Donald Lambro.

The winner of the Republican presidential nomination will probably be the candidate who most embodies the core principles and beliefs of Ronald Reagan.

 No kidding!  You mean like lowering tax rates and facing up to the nation’s enemies foreign and domestic?

It turns out that the Republican presidential candidates are a bit slow at signing up for Ronald Reagan’s shining agenda.  They have, at least, agreed to make President Bush’s tax rate cuts permanent.

But the front-runners for their party’s nod — Arizona Sen. John McCain and former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani — have sent mixed signals on the centerpiece of Reagan’s domestic agenda: tax-rate cuts to achieve maximum economic growth. While both have said President Bush’s across-the-board income tax cuts should be made permanent before expiring in 2010, neither has signed the pledge signed by every Republican presidential nominee since 1988 promising not to raise the tax rates.

What planet are they on?  The record of John McCain is especially troubling. 

[He] was one of only two Republican senators who voted against the Bush tax cuts in 2001 and who voted against accelerating them in 2003. He abruptly flip-flopped last year, voting to extend some of the tax cuts, when he began actively running for president.

Here’s what he said about the tax rate cuts.

I cannot in good conscience support a tax cut in which so many of the benefits go to the most fortunate among us at the expense of middle-class Americans who need tax relief.

Oh really?  But the president’s tax cuts were designed to reduce the taxes of middle-class Americans by a bigger percentage than the taxes of wealthier Americans.  And the result of the president’s tax cuts is that the top 50 percent of income taxpayers pay 96 percent of all income taxes.

How much is enough, Senator McCain?

If Republicans won’t cut taxes, then who will?

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


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Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill