Greg Stites, Bismarck, Published December 29 2012
Letter: Time for nation to pay the piperThere is no catastrophic “fiscal cliff.” Both parties have embraced the term “fiscal cliff” to describe a return to the federal tax rates that existed before both political parties passed the “gift” of the Bush tax cuts in 2001. I say gift because those tax cuts were meant to buy more selfish political advantage rather than to continue to pay down the federal deficit, which had been on course to be completely eliminated by 2014.
The federal tax rates under President Bill Clinton were fair and reasonable and were part of the balanced federal budget that America enjoyed during the Clinton years. The economy boomed under the Clinton-era tax rates. The federal deficit was being fairly paid off. The Bush tax cuts were not passed in order to stimulate the economy or help the job creators. No party can deny these facts.
I urge you to send a strong message to Congress and the president to stop playing politics and allow the Bush tax cuts to expire on all Americans so that we can finally pay our fair share for the excesses of the past 11 years.
Since the Bush tax cuts in 2001, America has fought wars against al-Qaida and in Iraq and Afghanistan, all with borrowed money. America has helped farmers, hurricane victims, oil spill and flood victims, all with borrowed money. America has a new Medicare prescription drug benefit paid for with borrowed money. America has bailed out Wall Street and the housing industry with borrowed money.
Rather than whining over wanting lower tax rates, we need Congress to allow all the Bush tax cuts of 2001 to expire and then focus full time on fair, long-term entitlement program reforms, elimination of tax loopholes and on providing for a modern, yet safe, downsized military.
It is time to pay the piper and start acting as fiscally responsible adults.