The Case For The Tax Cut

Policy Reports | Taxes

No. 226
Sunday, August 01, 1999
by Bruce Bartlett


There are other provisions of the tax bill that make it worthy of support. In the end, however, the main justification for a tax cut is that the money belongs to the people and not the government. Too many of those in government implicitly believe that taxpayers are just another special interest, and that tax cuts are morally equivalent to pork-barrel spending programs. This is false. The taxpayer is the foundation upon which the entire government rests, and government is entitled to take his or her hard-earned funds only for legitimate constitutional purposes.

"Experience shows the government will only restrain its profligacy if its allowance is cut."

Today, a great deal of what the government spends the taxpayer's money on is neither legitimate nor constitutional. This is a sufficient reason to reduce taxes, for experience shows that only when the government's allowance is cut off will it make a serious effort to restrain its profligacy. Throughout history, governments have taken taxpayers for granted, only to be shocked when they rise up in revolt. Although taxpayers today may not yet be in a revolutionary mood, it should be remembered that in the past, tax burdens far below those we have today have triggered tax revolts.64

The Congress has passed a good tax bill that addresses many pressing problems in taxation. On balance, if it becomes law, it will have a beneficial effect on the nation's economy in addition to reducing the tax burden and forcing some fiscal restraint.

NOTE: Nothing written here should be construed as necessarily reflecting the views of the National Center for Policy Analysis or as an attempt to aid or hinder the passage of any bill before Congress.

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