Lankford and the Bush trifecta 

U.S. Rep. James Lankford’s absolute opposition to any tax strategy locks in place the irresponsible and immoral trifecta of G.W. Bush’s first term: Backed by a Republican-controlled House and Senate, President Bush launched two foreign wars and cut taxes, rather than levy a tax to pay for the wars.

Mr. Bush inherited a balanced budget and a surplus from that liberal Bill Clinton, quickly squandered in Bush’s first term. Previous U.S. wars of significance were all funded by a tax increase. Bush’s tax cut benefited mostly the wealthy and corporations, whom Mr. Lankford insists should be excused from helping America through its economic crisis.

Lankford and the anti-tax crowd argue that permitting the wealthy and corporations to avoid taxes will produce jobs. If that were true, America would be at full employment right now. Since 1980, the number of billionaires in America has risen from about 13 to more than 400, proving that it is not fabulous wealth at the top that creates jobs, but rather the presence of consumers with spendable income.

Right here in OKC is the model for economic recovery. City leaders pitched their idea to voters, saying, “We’ll borrow money, levy some taxes and build infrastructure that our city needs.” MAPS, MAPS for Kids, and MAPS 3 all passed, and OKC is on the move. That strategy on a national scale would go far to ending the recession, and would ease life for America’s two-job and three-job households.

America lost its AAA credit rating because Republicans blocked revenue enhancement to balance spending cuts in the deficit-reduction drama. Standard & Poor’s, which issued the downgrade to AA-plus, has already rebuked the political system that prevented the administration from increasing taxes to help balance the budget. S&P made it clear that budget cuts alone are not sufficient, but that taxes must be increased in order for the U.S. to regain its former credit rating. At the very least, the Bush tax cuts should be reversed, which allowed America’s wealthy to avoid paying for our wars. Perhaps Lankford and the anti-tax crowd should review Matthew 25:31- 46, which begins, “All the nations will be gathered before him ...” and they shall be judged for how they did and did not serve the least among us.

—Nathaniel Batchelder
Oklahoma City

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