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December 30, 2009

The Taxing Dilemma of 2010

Kevin E. Dayhoff

As we ponder the past year and look forward to 2010 with great trepidation, so far there has been little mentioned about what Congress will do with the temporary tax cuts enacted during the administration of George W. Bush that are scheduled to expire at the end of the coming year?


Many are curious what 2010 will bring as far as getting nearer to a disposition of two seemingly endless foreign wars. Certainly not to be overlooked are concerns over the ever-spiraling national debt, out-of-control spending, health care reform, the shaky dollar and the mid-term elections.


The onslaught of the leviathan of big government, the erosion of personal liberties, the unrealized expectations of the presidency of Barack Obama, and the economy seem to have topped the list for how history will remember 2009.


As the New Year rings-in new beginnings, new hopes, and new adventures, the good news is things can only get better. They certainly cannot get much worse... We certainly hope for a change.


As far as the last decade, or what Washington Post writer Howard Kurtz has coined, the “awful aughts” – many have weighed-in precipitously on how history will remember it.


Such exercises are often fun to read. Other reviews are full of the fad psychobabble that passes as erudite and thoughtful review.


Except for keeping in mind the disaster that was 2009 when we visit the voting booth next November, the only thing for sure about any analysis of the awful aughts is that we must clearly get a grip on what happened before we move forward.


If the past is prologue, three things need to happen before there will be any forward momentum toward restoring responsible government in Washington.


It will not happen until the American media stops giving President Obama a pass.


There simply must be a mid-term correction in the make-up of Congress accompanied with appropriate leadership changes.


And what should weigh heavily on the minds of most responsible practitioners of good governance is the question of what needs to be done to take the necessary steps toward getting our fiscal house in order.


Last Monday, Hugh Hewitt penned a definitive analysis of “President Obama’s year of failure,” for the Washington Examiner; in which he delineated many unrealized expectations in 2009, including “President Obama's massive stimulus didn't….


 “The president's rhetoric about restraining spending has been washed away in a flood of red ink far vaster than all that has gone before it,” wrote Mr. Hewitt.


“And despite this profligate hemorrhaging of money the country doesn't have, unemployment is in the double digits and key industries like home building remain moribund.”


The current economic pogrom of wealth redistribution and confiscatory and vindictive taxing policies is where the current Congress and the Obama administration have committed the most lasting damage to our way of life and our national security.


Bear in mind that history teaches us that an economically weak nation is ill disposed to defend itself...


As a meaningful aside; Paul Sposite, who writes for the Catholic web publication, Static Youth’s Weblog, spoke for many when he said on June 26, 2009, “[in] first 50 days President Obama has done more to [attack] individual freedoms than any other president I have lived through, and I would venture to guess than any other president in history…


“The government has not moral ground to stand on concerning wealth redistribution, the concept is, in my opinion, one designed to create class warfare and create a social elite who control the poor through government handouts.


“The idea of wealth redistribution also kills the charitable donations, with the redistribution of wealth many feel no need to donate to the needy, the government has done that for us, or attempts too.”


Think about it. When one considers the huge unemployment figures and a moribund national economy, one needs to look no further for a cause than huge disincentive created by the uncertainty of the specter of an ever-increasing tax burden on those who have worked hard to get ahead and accumulated concentrations of capital.


It is in this context that McClatchy Newspapers writer Kevin G. Hall stole much of my thunder on December 25: “The 2001 and 2003 tax reductions are the big gorilla in the room that everyone's ignoring…


“By the end of 2010, a year of midterm congressional elections, Congress must address this key economic issue…”


And that is not going to be easy.


“If the Democrats who control Congress do nothing,” writes Mr. Hall, “and let the tax rates on the highest income brackets return to their pre-2001 levels, their Republican rivals and many Americans will slam them as tax hikers.


“If they prevent the legislation from expiring, however, they and any Republicans who support this approach will add $2 trillion to the already-growing federal budget deficit over the next decade. The news media and influential watchdog organizations will slam them for that.”


Paradoxically, history has proven that the only way to improve the economy, create jobs, and increase tax revenue; is to lower taxes.


Since this is something that the left has never ever understood; if for no other reason than the issue of tax relief, economic recovery, lower unemployment, and an end to out-of-control spending – Congress must change hands in November 2010 and the Bush Administration’s 2001 and 2003 tax reductions must be made permanent.


Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at



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