To the editor:
Cal Thomas is worried about the debt — he writes in Thursday’s column, “Stimulus debt will crush U.S.” Of course, he also quotes an economist from the right-wing Heritage Foundation who calls a tax cut for low-income workers “hidden welfare spending.” So never mind that I pay more than $1,000 in FICA taxes. Because I do not pay federal income taxes, a $400 tax cut for me is really “welfare.”
Yet back when Bush was president, Cal Thomas never let his worries about the debt cause him to argue against the Bush tax cuts. On June 6, 2003, he wrote that the government had plenty of revenue and that the deficit was caused by too much spending.
At that time, income tax revenues had fallen from $1,004.5 billion to just $793.7 billion. Meanwhile the economy was still growing, so income taxes fell from 10.2 percent of GDP in 2000 to 7.2 percent of GDP in 2003. The Bush tax cuts of 2003 gave $56 billion to people making more than $2 million in 2005.
National debt went from $5.6 trillion in 2000 to almost $9 trillion in 2007, but Thomas was not worried about the tax cut debt crushing the U.S. In 2003, he quoted Treasury Secretary John Snow approvingly, saying “the deficit doesn’t concern me terribly now.”
So to summarize Thomas: 1) $500,000 tax cuts to millionaires, don’t worry about the deficit. 2) $400 tax cuts to low-income working people, be very afraid, the deficit will kill us all.