Tax cuts are not only a winning political issue, they are a winning economic issue, but only if Republicans can again demonstrate thrift and personal responsibility instead of behaving like Democrat-lite.
Retirees, many of whom live mostly on dividends from investment income, are noticing the first uptick in those dividends in three years. Their dividend checks, as opposed to quarterly notices of losses that they had been receiving, are likely to persuade many of them that President Bush deserves a second term. The reduction in the capital gains tax is bringing many groundhogs out of their investment holes. Many stockholders are trading stocks (and paying taxes on profits) for the first time in several years. If there are no more terrorist attacks (a big if) between now and the 2004 election, and if the tax cuts continue to boost the recovery, Democrats will lose their central campaign issue and their major reason for asking voters to change leadership horses.
Democrats are wrong about taxes, but Republicans are wrong about spending. If Republicans can control themselves, their position as the majority party will be secure (and so will the economy) for years to come.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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