Re "A Tax Cut Rooted in the Bush Pedigree," by Kevin Phillips, Opinion, Jan. 12: Why is anyone surprised that President Bush is proposing even more tax breaks that primarily benefit himself? Virtually everything he has done has been for that effect. From trying to drill for oil in the Alaskan wilderness, to his first tax cut for the very wealthy, to sabotaging the historic Kyoto accord, to trying to control more Middle East oil by starting a war, the only common thread is that it all builds his personal wealth.
This is by far the greediest president we have had, who seems not to care the slightest about the country, but only what is good financially for W.
Phillips states that George W. is acting like his father with his tax plan. Besides being exceedingly tendentious, Phillips is flat-out wrong with the record. The first Bush raised taxes, and a borderline economy quickly tanked. He may have talked about lowering taxes, but his actions were quite the contrary. As always, Phillips will not let inconvenient facts get in the way of a good story.
What I fervently hope a majority of Congress will say to the president's so-called economic stimulus plan: "Read our lips, no new tax breaks for the top 1%!"
Bush and his administration seem to love the rhetoric of war and the idea of the average. War on terrorism, war on Iraq, fighting a war on two fronts, etc. Now they've introduced the term "class warfare" into the tax debate, as exemplified by Michael Ramirez's Jan. 11 cartoon.
If Democrats are practicing class warfare, maybe it's because the Republican Party has been practicing class preference. In touting the tax cut, Bush talks about the benefits to the average American family. But in truth, the benefits of the Bush tax package would be maldistributed, just as health care is at present. So while the averages might look attractive to the average American, losers are left even further behind those who would benefit most.
With Friends Like These
Re "America Should Not Turn Its Back on a Faithful Friend," Commentary, Jan. 13: With "friends" like those in the Saudi monarchy, who needs enemies? Clyde Prestowitz wants friends? I'll give him friends.
Friends do not finance radical Islamic groups that go around convincing young men to fly Boeing 767s into office buildings in exchange for 71 virgins. Friends do not subsidize a state religious establishment endlessly calling for the destruction of the U.S. Friends do not support Islamic charities that support terrorists. Friends do not refuse investigative assistance to the FBI when U.S. citizens are killed in such acts of terror as the Khobar Towers bombing. The Saudi monarchs are our friends? I see no evidence of it.
Carl W. Goss
Oakland School Funds
"Oakland Seeks Record Bailout for Schools" (Jan. 9), on the collapse of the Oakland school district, doesn't come as a surprise. State Sen. Don Perata (D-Alameda), who is now begging for money for the school district, is the same Don Perata who engineered the lavish payoff to the Raiders in 1994, with the approval of the NFL offices.
With the money that Oakland and Alameda County have to pay the Raiders for nonsellouts and other perks, they could probably fund the school district. Maybe Perata ought to ask NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue to fund the school district, rather than state taxpayers.
Re "Campaign Contribution Limits Hiked," Jan. 10: The price of buying your politician has just gone up again! Yep, those on the Fair Political Practices Commission, of all people, have found a loophole in Proposition 34, thereby undermining the will of the people of California.
This is an amazing country in which we live. In any other country of the world this would be called bribery. In America we call it campaign contributions. But for some reason, I still would rather live in the U.S. than anyplace else.
Desert Hot Springs