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Reader's View: Sound alarm on tax cuts, trickle-down

Back in the days of President Ronald Reagan, economist Arthur Laffer counterintuitively proclaimed that if taxes were lowered, more tax revenue would be generated and there would be a positive growth impact on the economy. It was labeled "trickle...

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Back in the days of President Ronald Reagan, economist Arthur Laffer counterintuitively proclaimed that if taxes were lowered, more tax revenue would be generated and there would be a positive growth impact on the economy. It was labeled "trickle-down economics," although George H.W. Bush called it "voodoo economics" when he was running for the presidency.

We recall, however, that after a recession, steady growth resumed - but the national debt more than tripled during the Reagan terms. It was the greatest percentage of national-debt increase and the first trillion dollar-plus debt of any president.

President George W Bush first cut taxes and then started two wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Talk about bad luck for Bush: suffering 9/11; ISIS being born in Iraq; and, also on his watch, the banking, real estate, and stock markets all crashing, setting off the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Now, with the nation in a strong economy with low unemployment, Republicans are attempting to cut taxes again. The Fox cable news network even trotted out Laffer to cheer the tax cuts. National debt, here we go again, off to the races with an admittedly "acceptable" $1.5 trillion just to get started.

When interest rates inevitably increase, and they have started to, the cost of interest on the national debt quickly could become the largest budget-spending category, even greater than defense spending.

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Another cautionary note: Gov. Sam Brownback's trickle-down, conservative-theory tax cuts in his state of Kansas in 2012 resulted in a disastrously failed, runaway state-debt experiment that should put Laffer, Republicans, and the entire nation on notice.

Jim Waldo

Duluth

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