LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Charge of partisan politics is unfair


Mr. Webster charges me with partisan politics. If concern about our nation's debt is partisan politics and talk about justice shouldn't be on the religion page, then we are all in trouble.

Sadly enough, Mr. Webster either did not read my article carefully or purposefully misrepresented what I said.

For example, I never said "justice lies on the side of those who oppose tax increases." I did question the economic wisdom of tax increases when the economy is sluggish, which is a far different assertion.

I never advised where to cut spending. I never once said anything about programs designed to help the poor. No red herrings, please.

Also, I never argued that "taxes are theft," as he claims. I may think higher taxes are unwise economically, but that is another matter.

I did say current politicians are not using the economic policies that have worked in the past to stimulate the economy. To illustrate two presidencies that did help the economy, I used one Republican and one Democrat. I thought the equal balance would keep readers from charging me with partisan politics.

As The New York Times once acknowledged, the long run of many quarters of economic growth began under President Reagan and, but for a six-month dip after the First Gulf War, continued into the 1990s. President Reagan and Congress never balanced the budget, but the economy grew at such a rate that it could fund the growing national debt.

Reagan's first tax-rate cut for individuals and corporations was based, in part, on the tax-rate cut that President Kennedy used to stimulate the economy in the early 1960s. And it passed in Congress because 48 Democrats in the House and 37 Democrats in the Senate voted for it. From December 1982 to June 1990, more than 21 million jobs were created.

President Clinton cut capital gains tax rates in 1997, maintained a sound dollar, and under pressure from House Speaker Gingrich he also balanced the budget.

Good economics isn't Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative. It's just good economics. It is unfair to charge me with partisan politics.

Please address my main argument. Take a look at the sum total of our national debt (40-plus years), and ask why we think we deserve so many things we are not paying for. Is it right to dump this debt on our grandchildren?

Mark Koonz
Walla Walla


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