(This one is for Bill K. Bill, this was probably the meanest challenge of them all — “make the case against President Bush’s tax cuts.” I’ve actually benefited from them, and support them. But I think that if I cheat a little, I can answer your challenge satisfactorily.)
There’s been a lot of criticism of President Bush’s insistence on pushing through his tax cuts, and a lot of it is crap. Historically, tax cuts have had the effect of both improving the economy and increasing government revenues. I know that may seem counterintuitive, but as the rates lower, the people paying those taxes make more money and end up paying more in taxes (but a smaller percentage of their income).
But there is a case to be made for ending the tax cuts, and it’s a bit obscure. As many of the tax cuts’ critics point out, we are at WAR here, and as Bush predicted, this war is likely to go on for many years to come. And tax cuts just don’t make a lot of sense in one context.
One of the reasons World War II was so widely supported in the US was that everyone felt like they were “involved” in the effort to some degree or another, that we all had a “stake” in the struggle. People sent loved ones off to war, bought war bonds, collected scrap metal, rationed food, gasoline, and other products, and in general the war was foremost on everyone’s minds.
Nowadays, though, support for the war on militant Islam (OK, OK, I’ll be PC and call it “the war on terror”) is showing signs of waning. We need to remind people just how important winning this war is, and asking people to make the sacrifice of giving up their tax cuts might just do the trick. I know I’d be willing to give up my tax cut in the name of winning this war. The impact on the general economy would be minor, but the gains in public support will more than make up for it.