WASHINGTON -- In a full-page statement in this Sunday's New York Times (February 2, 2003), bipartisan leaders of The Concord Coalition ask “Are We Really Cutting Taxes -- Or Just Raising Them On Our Kids?”
The statement is signed by The Concord Coalition's Co-Chairs, Warren B. Rudman and Bob Kerrey, Concord's President, Peter G. Peterson; and and Members of The Concord Coalition Board of Directors Paul Volcker, Robert Rubin, Lloyd Cutler, Sam Nunn and Charles A. Bowsher.
Excerpts from the statement:
“With the recovery still sluggish and the dual prospects of war in Iraq and terrorism at home weighing down on business and consumer confidence, President Bush deserves credit for proposing steps to spur the economy. Yet less than 9 percent of the 10-year $670 billion tax cut he has proposed would have an impact this year ? a stimulus amounting to less than 6 tenths of one percent of GDP. Most of the cut is scheduled for later years when the main effect may simply be to enlarge the long-term deficit. “A responsible plan would combine an effective dose of short-term fiscal stimulus with plenty of long-term fiscal restraint. We should make any new tax cut effective immediately, target it at households likely to spend rather than save the money, and avoid provisions that cause growing revenue loss over time. We urge leaders to remember that the 10-year budget outlook is rapidly deteriorating. A projected $5.6 trillion surplus has turned into a likely deficit of at least $1.5 trillion ? even if the Social Security surplus is included and before any new tax cuts or spending initiatives are enacted. Moreover, the baby boomers' retirement looms just over the horizon. Let's be sure that a lighter tax burden on us today doesn't mean an even heavier burden on our children tomorrow. “The nation now faces two history-bending challenges: global terrorism and global aging. Meeting the first will require marshalling new resources far above the extra spending already legislated. We know that meeting the second will test the ability of society to provide a decent standard of living for the old without imposing a crushing tax burden on the young. America should not approach this fiscal gauntlet encumbered by deficits as far as the eye can see.”