No New Tax Cuts
Harold Meyerson didn’t have his facts straight [“Major Mud,” Feb. 3-9] when he described my voting record on taxes.
I did support the 2001 tax cuts. Our nation had just experienced its third year of surplus — $236 billion in 2000. We were projected to run a $5.6 trillion surplus through 2010, and the deficit had been obliterated. So it seemed an appropriate time to return some of that surplus to taxpayers.
At the time, I advocated for a trigger, which basically said that if the budget was not in balance, the cuts should not remain in effect. This trigger was supported by Alan Greenspan, but unfortunately was narrowly voted down in the Senate.
But two years later, the economy had taken a dramatic turn for the worse, and I did not support the 2003 tax cuts — contrary to what Mr. Meyerson indicated. By 2003, surpluses had vanished, and we were facing a $2 trillion projected deficit and economic uncertainty. I urged my colleagues to oppose any new tax cuts, no matter what the size, and to lay the groundwork for a return to long-term economic growth.
And as it became clear that our nation was going deeper into debt, I also called for a rollback of the tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.
I hope that this will serve to correct the record.
I am half-Indian, half-white, living in Oklahoma, and I too am sick of whites portraying themselves as Indian [“Navahoax,” Jan. 27-Feb. 2] or as having some special empathy for Indians by marrying one, or what have you.
I had a white dean of students tell me I wasn’t Indian enough. Who was he to say what Indians are and are not! I am also sick of Indians being portrayed as somehow more in touch with spirituality, and impoverished but wise. Believe me, we live in the modern world and even have indoor toilets. I am a registered Indian, by the way, and here’s another thought — not all Indians look “Indian.” I have red hair and blue eyes, as do quite a few of my tribe. It’s racist to even assume that Indians are somehow magically different from other people. A few Indian zealots exist, but the vast majority of us would like whites to stop patronizing and subordinating Indian culture for selfish benefits.
Marc Cooper’s response to the recent UCLA scandal [“Mr. Jones’ Valid Point,” Jan. 27-Feb. 2], though legitimate in spirit, is entirely shortsighted and politically obfuscating.
I find the existence of the Andrew Jones types of organizations in universities unacceptable and unjustifiable. This so-called Bruin Alumni Association is hardly an isolated local phenomenon. Like Campus Watch, the Horowitz initiative, the David Project, etc., this group is part of a countrywide attempt to eliminate any sort of public expression of disapproval of the present U.S. government and its policies.
Because universities are spaces where college youth — the future citizens of the country — are learning their first steps of political accountability, the universities are primary targets of all those ideologues who support this government’s policies of censorship, surveillance, disinformation, and control of public opinion. Of course, these groups hide their agenda by advocating the alleged infringement of the rights of students in the classroom.
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Marc Cooper is right to lament the complacency of many academics, though this is less a matter of tenure and more a matter of the perils of professionalization. I’d be the first to agree that there are colleagues who stick to the perfunctory execution of their duties, in such ways that leave students uninspired, entranced, and ultimately untaught. But this legitimate critique cannot seek ground in the allegedly “disruptive” potential of these groups, which, ironically, are pushing “political correctness” to new heights. These groups do not value dissent, which is the pillar of democracy. And certainly they do not seek to produce dissent; on the contrary, they seek to squash it.
The fact of the matter is that the decrees of the Horowitz initiative, the intimidation practices of the David Project, the spy tactics of Campus Watch, and the paid-informant initiatives of Mr. Jones are practices that stink to high heaven of police-state mentality. In a democratic society, they have a right to exist. But, in the same spirit, it is our duty to make sure they do not succeed.