President Reagan’s threats to veto any bill that would increase taxes (Times, March 14) and his categorical refusal to reduce wasteful and excessive military spending once again make it impossible for Congress to reduce the budget deficit except at the expense of social programs and domestic spending.
Social programs and domestic spending have already borne more than their fair share of cuts and reductions and should not be cut by another dime! At the same time military spending has increased steadily with no cuts in real dollars while taxes on the rich and the corporations have been steadily declining.
Where is the fairness in all of this? Why must the poor, the elderly and the disabled always have to be the ones required to make sacrifices whenever Reagan tries to lower taxes or reduce the deficit? If Reagan is serious about reducing the deficit he should stop picking on the economically disadvantaged and consider making some significant reductions in military spending, such as eliminating the MX missile and the B-1 bomber, neither of which are really necessary.
He should also consider rescinding his tax cut, which has benefited only the rich, and getting the wealthy and the corporations to pay more of their fair share of the nation’s taxes. The fact that the rich and the corporations do not pay their fair share of the tax burden, together with Reagan’s unwise tax cut and his astronomical increases in military spending, are largely responsible for the current deficit, and to expect the poor, the elderly, the disabled, the worker, the consumer and students to pay for Reagan’s economic fillies is the height of ethical and fiscal irresponsibility.
Throughout his entire political career Ronald Reagan has shown a consistent and callous disregard for the poor and has subscribed to the misguided philosophy that government has no responsibility to aid or assist them in any way. Almost every other Western democracy takes better care of its economically underprivileged. In less than five years Reagan has attempted to undo 45 years of social progress and has come dangerously close to succeeding.
It is my hope that Congress and the American people have had enough of this social Darwinism and robbing the poor to give to the rich and the military. CHARLES B. EDELMAN
“Make my day”, says the President, before a group of 100 applauding business executives at the White House, adding, “The scene . . . this week was a disappointing one for the American people . . . when push comes to shove I guess it’s always easier to let the taxpayer take the fall.”
In the charged atmosphere of these Hollywood scenario histrionics, The Times has failed to tell us which taxpayer Reagan is concerned for. Is it the taxpayer who must report half his Social Security benefits as ordinary taxable income by April 15 or the “taxpayer” with an income of over $250,000 who paid absolutely no taxes in 1983 as a direct result of tax shelters and Treasury Department subsidies. (Does this description fit any of the 100 applauding business executives?)
Now Congress has before it Reagan’s Treasury Department tax simplification proposals, which would eliminate unproductive business tax incentives that thrive on “tax losses,” produce no new jobs, no new technologies and no growth of the economy. Not surprisingly, the Treasury Department, with an overwhelming backlog of nearly 350,000 shady tax shelters awaiting investigation by the Internal Revenue Service, has prepared this plan in the hope that the most important tax breaks--capital gains exclusion, accelerated depreciation, investment credit, oil tax breaks and deductions for interest on capital borrowed to “tax shelter” income--will be removed from the tax code.
It is time for the real taxpayers to get a break by eliminating loopholes and business “incentives.” It is time for Congress to deal with the “special interests” that clamor for their selfish handouts at the expense of the average American taxpayer who has no tax shelter and no business lobby. It is time for Congress to join together and take the tax policy out of the pork barrel. And it is time for the Congress to recognize that the emperor has no clothes! DAVID TYGELL
“Go ahead, make my day,” Reagan taunted the Congress at a speech to a group of business executives.
It is such confrontation talk that will lead to a widening of the cleft between the executive and legislative branches of government and create a stalemate from which the country will suffer.
As the leader of the executive forces, it is the function of the President to reason, to explain and to make certain compromises on the fiscal program. What has become of the White House’s congressional liaison? Mind you this is not a partisan issue, as many of his own party are lined up against the President.
Reagan does not seem to realize that despite the prosperity of the moment the whole economic structure can very well collapse in chaos without astute and farsighted planning.
There could very well come a time that when the Great Communication turns to the base of his strongest support--the people--he may be rudely rebuked.
Is is to be hoped that wiser heads will prevail upon the President now to devise plans for safeguarding the national interest pragmatically in all areas. DAVID A. MARCUS
When you think about it, it is entirely appropriate that the Great Communicator should quote a tinsel-town, law-breaking cop in threatening Congress with his veto should they err in deciding in favor of fiscal responsibility regarding the national deficit.
After all, as most Californians who can remember back to the days when he was governor know, paying taxes was not really one of his fortes. RODERICK M. BOYES