What would you cut?

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I see a program that would increase spending, cut taxes, and supposedly balance the budget. When President Reagan was given more or less free reign to implement the same program during the '80's, we ended up tripling the national debt within a decade.

Worse, the American economy has been undercapitalized during the '60's and '70's. Much of the $2 trillion that was borrowed under Reagan and his successors was at least needed to rebuild the nation's economic base after decades of comparative neglect.

In contrast, our current recession is caused not by inadequate investment, but by weak demand. A recent article in the NYTimes pointed out that, while General Motors would receive $800 milion under Bush's corporate tax cut plan, GM is already sitting on $8 billion in cash. It isn't lack of capital that's keeping business from investing, it's lack of markets.

Moreover, while short-term interest rates have been cut drastically, long-term rates remain relatively high because the markets fear a return to the irresponsible borrow-and-spend policies of the past. To me, the policies you're advocating fully justify those fears.

Feel free to correct me if I'm mistaken, but to me your program appears to be an '80's response to a '00's problem, and has a very high likelihood of making things worse, not better.

-- Tom Marney (tmarney@bellsouth.net), December 25, 2001


First, I would cut corporate welfare. I would work diligently for passage of H.R. 1888 to eliminate corporate welfare. This is an issue that I am extremely passionate about and I intend on being the point man for remaking corporate welfare policies in the U.S.Congress. Below is a summary of the text for H.R.1888

Sponsor: Rep Andrews, Robert E.(introduced 5/17/2001) Latest Major Action: 6/1/2001 Referred to House subcommittee Title: To eliminate corporate welfare. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- ---------- SUMMARY AS OF: 5/17/2001--Introduced. Corporate Welfare Elimination Act of 2001 - Title I: Tax Reform - Termination of Energy and Natural Resource Tax Subsidies Act of 2001 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal or terminate the following: (1) the expensing of intangible drilling and development costs and of mining exploration and development costs; (2) the credit for producing fuel from a nonconventional source; (3) the percentage depletion deduction for mines, oil and gas wells, other natural deposits, and timber; (4) tax benefits for alcohol fuels; (5) the enhanced oil recovery credit; (6) the credit and deduction for electric vehicles, clean-fuel vehicles, and certain refueling property; (7) the deduction for tertiary injectants; (8) the rehabilitation credit for non-historic structures (reduces such credit for certified historic structures); (9) the provisions concerning the treatment of Blue Cross and Blue Shield Organizations; (10) the small life insurance company deduction; (11) the alternative tax on small property and casualty insurance companies; (12) provisions permitting farming businesses to use the cash method of accounting; (13) the deduction for soil and water conservation expenditures; (14) the deduction for expenditures by farmers for fertilizer, etc.; (15) certain exceptions permitting farm businesses to use the cash method of accounting; (16) the exclusion for the cancellation of qualified farm indebtedness; (17) the exclusion for certain cost-sharing payments; (18) the reforestation credit; (19) the rapid amortization of reforestation expenditures; (20) the exclusion of certain income of citizens or residents living abroad; (21) the exclusion for income of foreign sales corporations; (22) the deferral of income of controlled foreign corporations; (23) the deferral of tax under the Merchant Marine Capital Construction Fund; (24) the special treatment for magazine circulation expenditures; and (25) the special treatment for returns of magazines, paperbacks, and records.

Title II: Natural Resources - Public Resources Deficit Reduction Act of 2001 - Subtitle A: General Provisions -Prohibits any timber, minerals, forage, or other natural resources owned by the United States and any federally owned water, or hydroelectric energy of a Federal facility from being sold, leased, or otherwise disposed of by any Federal entity for less than fair market value.

(Sec. 212) Authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to establish and collect user fees as necessary to reimburse the United States for expenses incurred in administering programs.

(Sec. 213) Requires the revenues from the sale, lease, and transfer of Federal assets to be included in the President's budget submission to Congress.

Subtitle B: Revenue from Mining Claims - Requires the holders of mining claims to pay an annual claim maintenance fee of $100 per claim per calendar year. Allows the waiver of such fee for holders of more than ten claims.

(Sec. 223) Requires claimholders to pay a royalty of eight percent of gross income for production of locatable minerals on Federal lands.

(Sec. 224) Amends the Internal Revenue Code to impose an excise tax on gross income resulting from the severance of any locatable mineral, or mineral concentrates or products, from a mine or other natural deposit. Makes such tax inapplicable to gross income to which a royalty is imposed.

(Sec. 225) Establishes the Abandoned Locatable Minerals Mine Reclamation Fund for the reclamation and restoration of land and water resources adversely affected by past mineral activities on Federal lands. Credits the royalties and excise tax under this title to such Fund.

(Sec. 226) Prohibits the issuance of a patent for any mining claim unless the Secretary of the Interior determines that, for the claim concerned: (1) a patent application was filed before January 27, 1995; and (2) all requirements are met under the Revised Statutes for vein or lode claims and for placer claims.

(Sec. 227) Requires the Secretary to adjust all dollar amounts under this title for changes in purchasing power every ten years, employing the Consumer Price Index as the basis for adjustment.

Subtitle C: Use or Disposal of Federal Natural Resources - Amends the Federal Land Policy Management Act of 1976 to direct the Secretary of Agriculture, with respect to National Forest lands in the 16 contiguous Western States, and the Secretary of the Interior, with respect to public domain lands, where domestic livestock grazing is permitted under applicable law, to establish an annual domestic livestock grazing fee equal to fair market value, based on a specified formula.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) abolition of grazing advisory boards; and (2) the U.S. share of receipts.

(Sec. 232) Amends the National Forest Management Act of 1976 to prohibit below-cost timber sales from National Forest System Lands.

(Sec. 233) Amends the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 to require the Secretary of Agriculture in revising land management plans to take into account the economic suitability of lands for timber production.

(Sec. 234) Amends the Food Security Act of 1995 and the Federal Crop Insurance Act to provide for the reduction of payment limitations for persons who receive Federal irrigation water for agricultural purposes.

(Sec. 237) Amends the Emergency Livestock Feed Assistance Act of 1988 to repeal the livestock feed assistance program.

(Sec. 238) Amends the Mineral Leasing Act to require that oil and gas rental prices for leases on public lands be established at fair market value.

(Sec. 239) Requires that permits for the use of communications sites on public lands be established at fair market prices.

-- william coit (wcot@yahoo.com), December 25, 2001.

Second, I would remake the tax code to shift the burden of responsibility from the middle-class to the wealthy and large corporations. I would work to eliminate the loop-holes that allow the wealthy and large corporations to circumvent the system and pay little or no taxes. This is unfair. An economic stimulus package should begin with those individuals who would most likely spend the savings from tax breaks. This would spur economic growth. Third, I would prioritize government spending. Just like you and I have a budget for our home. Government should determine what areas are most important and focus our spending on that. My top 4 area would be: 1. Defense spending 2. Education 3. Protecting Social Security 4. Economic Development

-- william coit (wcot@yahoo.com), December 25, 2001.

Good answer!

-- Tom Marney (tmarney@bellsouth.net), December 26, 2001.

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