Jack Kemp

One of this nation's premier journalists (also a friend of long standing) wrote a column last week that can only be labeled as "Bush bashing" writ large. E.J. Dionne Jr. writing in the Washington Post and Investor's Business Daily, wrote the following: "winning the war in Iraq was never the Bush administration's highest priority, saving its tax cuts was more important." Ugh! E.J., E.J., what's gotten into you, don't you read my columns, haven't you listened to my speeches for the past three decades or so? (People say I talk too much, but how else will they learn!)

One more time Mr. Dionne, and "fellow travelers," Paul Krugman, Bob Rubin and everyone else who makes the claim that Bush cut taxes in the face of a "war." Everyone please "read these words carefully," Bush didn't cut taxes, he cut tax rates!

Revenues didn't go down, they went up.

The "rich" didn't get "tax relief" at lower rates on income and investments, they are paying more in revenue to the federal (and state) government than ever before in history.

The top 1 percent of people in America pays more than 35 percent of all taxes, even at lower rates on capital gains and dividends. By the way, the proper tax rate on capital gains and dividends would be zero, because the tax on corporate income has already been taken out and you shouldn't tax the same income source more than once. All income should be taxed, but once, not four, five and six times as we do today.

The tax on labor, i.e. primarily payroll taxes, are equally onerous, they should be cut as well, with 6 or 7 percentage points to be allowed to be put into an IRA. This would give workers a much higher rate of return and they would own it.

Back to Iraq and taxes, I actually agreed with Mr. Dionne, who wrote that "it's absurd that the most powerful country in the world finds itself forced to treat our armed forces so shabbily." Right on E.J.! You're exactly right. His conclusion, however, is wrong, the U.S. is "not willing to pay for a large enough military, so now we are paying for their deficit in logic and courage." E.J. reasons we need to raise taxes on dividends and upper incomes to pay for more troops.

Jack Kemp

Jack Kemp is Founder and Chairman of Kemp Partners and a contributing columnist to Townhall.com.
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