Tax Cuts = An Inadequate Federal Budge

Avatar for car_al
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tax Cuts = An Inadequate Federal Budge
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 2:33pm
In my community the property taxes are being increased by double digits in order to fund basic local school services, which is a hardship on those (primarily seniors) who live on fixed incomes.

As a fiscal conservative, the following speech addresses my concerns about the budget and tax cuts proposed by Pres. Bush:

Saturday, May 3, 2003



Hello, this is Senator Jim Jeffords of Vermont.

Two years ago this month I made my decision to leave the Republican

Party and become an Independent. One reason I made that change was

that I felt the Republican Party that I knew, and grew up with, had

changed its priorities dramatically. Those changed priorities were best

exemplified by President Bush's insistence on a budget that

short-changed so many of our national needs: education and special

education; health care and prescription drugs for our elderly,

environmental protection; and, importantly, deficit reduction.

It is now two years later, and it seems that we're having the same

debate again. The President is again proposing a budget that does not

adequately fund America's needs and includes new tax breaks that are

likely to force disastrous cuts in urgent national programs, and create

horrendous future deficits. And again, those who are expressing their

reservations are being vilified for taking stands of conscience. This

happened in 2001 when I made my decision to leave the Republican party,

and it is sad for me to watch it happen again. When did standing on

principle, speaking your conscience and representing your constituents

become unacceptable in certain Republican circles?

When he was pushing for the first tax cut, President Bush said that we

could do it all, we could afford a tax cut, make investments in our

national priorities, and still have money left over to pay down the

debt. Time has proven those words wrong, and we have massive job losses

and a soaring deficit to show for it. After the President's proposal

was reduced, I supported the 2001 tax cut. That was a mistake, one I

will not make again.

Now, those needs I spoke of two years ago have become even more

pressing, and we face the new challenges of protecting America and

fighting a war against terror. President Bush has said that his plan is

a, "jobs growth package." But the only thing guaranteed to grow is the

federal budget deficit, something Republicans used to care about, and I

still do. We will be paying for these tax cuts with borrowed funds,

money borrowed from our children and grandchildren who will be forced to

foot the bill. And these deficits will explode just as the baby boom

generation begins to retire, further endangering the health of Social

Security and Medicare, both of which are so critically important to our


Perhaps more importantly, the President's plan doesn't benefit the

people who need it most. In my home state of Vermont, 2,200 people have

lost their jobs. Many who are lucky enough to have jobs are just barely

scraping by. What will this plan do for them? Well, two-thirds of

Vermont taxpayers will get a tax cut of less than $100. Yet, someone

who makes a million dollars a year will get a tax cut of $90,000.

This fervor for tax breaks at the expense of all else demonstrates that

there are some who see tax cuts not as a policy, but as a theology.

Their belief that tax cuts will solve any problem is uncompromising,

unyielding, and, sadly, undeterred by past experience. Our goal should

not be a tax cut for the sake of a tax cut, especially one that gives

most of its benefits to a very few people. Our goal should be a policy

that puts Americans back to work, gets our economy growing and keeps us

on the right track for future generations.

What should we do to boost our ailing economy and help those Americans

most in need? We should start by extending unemployment insurance

benefits, currently scheduled to expire at the end of May. More than

100,000 additional jobs were lost in March, and the overall number of

jobs fell to a 40-month low. We should help the states, which are

facing the worst budget crisis in 50 years. To close budget deficits,

some states are cutting back school days, eliminating effective early

education programs and eliminating health insurance coverage for our

neediest families. We should support programs that encourage job

creation, like boosting federal spending to improve our nation's highway

system, money we are going to have to spend someday anyway. According

to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 47,000 jobs are created for

every billion dollars spent on our highways and bridges.

That is the approach I support. Millions of Americans need help. Yet,

the President insists on a tax cut that hurts those who need help most,

and helps those who need it least. In Vermont we take care of our own,

and as a nation we should do the same.

This is Jim Jeffords, Independent Senator of Vermont, thanks for




Edited 5/6/2003 2:54:54 PM ET by car_al


Avatar for car_al
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 3:01pm
S/B: An Inadequate Federal BUDGET -


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 7:54pm
Jim Jeffords is nothing more than a frontrunner, who will play to the party in power.

Perfect example, when Bush won the election, but the Democrats closed the gap in the Senate, Jeffords chose to support the Democrats and become an Independent. He did this because they promised that if he did so, he would be able to keep his position of chairman of the commission he served on.

When the Republicans regained the majority in the Senate this past November, Jeffords did an about face, and told Republican leaders he would be more than happy to caucus with them, provided (here is the catch) that he would be able to keep his position of chairman of his commission.

The only thing Jim Jeffords is concerned about is Jim Jeffords. The man is a hypocrite and a fraud. (then again most politicians are).

I am waiting for his re-election because he is going to be voted out of office because the people of Vermont are sick of his turncoat tactics.

Avatar for car_al
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 9:55pm
But he is consistent in his support for education and for fiscal responsibility, which is the point of the post.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 05-06-2003 - 10:21pm
For now at least. With self-serving hypocrites you never know. I do agree that education needs to be corrected, but the only way this is going to be solved in the inner cities such as New York is teacher accountability. If you are a teacher and a certain percentage of your students cannot pass the prescribed tests for their grades, then that teacher should be fired. The teachers unions will never agree to that, so therefore, the problem will never be totally resolved.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 05-07-2003 - 12:19pm
>>If you are a teacher and a certain percentage of your students cannot pass the prescribed tests for their grades, then that teacher should be fired. The teachers unions will never agree to that, so therefore, the problem will never be totally resolved.

That sounds wonderful, one catch who do they replace the teacher with? Not sure about the other states, but in mine (KY) we have our selves a shortage as is. 26 kids per class room and no hope of reducing that any time soon.

IMO something has to be done to attract more people to this field first, then we can work on replacing the sucky ones.

The longer we waite, the more it hurts our kids.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 6:37pm
I agree.

I think teachers should be paid more (mainly on the grade school levels, as some of the college professors make a very good living), but they also have to be accountable, and the teachers unions will never allow that. They dont want to have testing for the teachers so that they are up to date on the subjects they are teaching, not to mention to check to make sure they know what it is that they are supposed to be teaching.

New York is still at the bottom of the barrel for students passing they aptitude tests. 40% can't even read or write correctly. That is a shame, and when you hear that the union leaders won't hear of having the teachers tested, that is a crime.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-02-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 6:43pm
Hmmm, in my state it's too many kids per room, not because of availibility but lay offs...they are cutting back on teachers not teachers cutting back on them!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Fri, 05-09-2003 - 10:55pm
You say 40% of the children cannot read or write correctly. At what grade? Special education or regular classes? Do these children speak and read English at home? Do the parents read? Are there newspapers, books, computers at home available for the children? Is there a community library accessible to the children. Do the children see older siblings and adults in the family using the library? Are good grades valued and rewarded by parents and other adults in the community? Seems to me these factors ought to be considered when assigning credit or blame to the teachers.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 8:23am
I see your point yet we can’t really push for something at a time when we have a shortage as is. I think getting more teachers first to replace these teachers who are not up to par, will work far better than not having something to fill the void at all.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 05-10-2003 - 8:29am
Hmmmmm....seems rather odd, it's not your state isn't paying the teachers well, they just can't pay that many of them? What state is this? Just wondering, I would like to check out the stats and history about this.