It’s too bad that some people (Sara Smith letter, July 27) just spout their party’s talking points rather than looking up the actual facts. The Bush tax cuts went fully into effect on May 28, 2003 when Bush signed the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003. For FY2003 total revenues were $1.782 trillion (Source: White House Office of Management and Budget, http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/fy2011/assets/hist.pdf) Four years later, FY2007 revenues were $2.568 trillion, an increase of $768 billion, or 44%.
Let me repeat that: The result of the Bush tax cuts was a huge increase of revenues, not a decrease. The problem was not lack of revenue, the problem was an increase of spending from $2.159 trillion in 2003 to $2.758 trillion in 2007. Next, let us look at the deficit. In 2003, it was $377 billion. In 2004 it worsened slightly to $412 billion, but for the next three years the deficit steadily improved to $318, $248, and finally $160 billion in 2007.
The deficit, bad as it was, improved steadily from 2004 until 2007 when Democrats took control of Congress. If Ms. Smith remembers her civics lessons, she knows that it is Congress that controls the purse strings. The president cannot spend a dime without authorization of Congress. For the last two years of the Bush Presidency, Democrats controlled the purse strings.
In their first budget, Democrats increased the deficit to $458 billion and then to an astonishing $1.412 trillion. Now that one party controls both Congress and the White House, the deficit continues at previously unimaginable levels. The latest White House estimate is $1.47 trillion this year and $1.4 trillion next year. (Source: Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/23/AR2010072304101.html).
The Democrats’ economic theories have not worked; they have made the economy even worse. We cannot spend and borrow our way to prosperity. These gigantic deficits cannot continue indefinitely. Sooner or later, lenders (including the Chinese government) are going to stop funding this government’s wild spending spree. We are heading to a train wreck and must change course.