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Jewish World Review June 14, 2000 /11 Sivan, 5760

David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh
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Consumer Reports

Al Gore: Government's
best friend -- WHILE MANY OF US have been focusing on Al Gore's remarkable similarity to Bill Clinton in matters pertaining to truth, we may be missing a more compelling reason to fear -- yes, I said fear -- his presidency.

Liberals get especially upset when they are likened to socialists, so I won't go there. Forget the labels. Instead, let me just ask whether you can remember any time when Gore or congressional Democrats opposed a fiscal policy initiative on the grounds that the federal government shouldn't be involved.

No doubt Democrats in some cases have been pressured into concessions aimed at decreasing government's role, such as with welfare reform. But it has been economic imperatives rather than concerns for freedom that finally forced their hands.

Now two policy issues are taking center stage that highlight the differences between the candidates and the parties: the bill to end estate taxes and Gore's new plan to boost the federal government's role in education.

Last week, Republicans, joined by a number of Democrats, succeeded in passing a measure to repeal the federal estate tax by 2010. Predictably, President Clinton has promised to veto the bill, preferring an alternative bill that would provide targeted relief to farms and small businesses affected by the estate tax.

Democratic opponents say that only 1.9 percent of estates pay estate taxes, so elimination of the tax would disproportionately benefit the rich. Well, I guess so! You would think that Democrats would skirt this fact instead of using it as ammunition. How can it possibly be fair that less than two percent of the people pay a tax? I guess it depends on what the meaning of "fair" is.

Clinton claims that repealing the bill would be fiscally irresponsible because it would result in a loss of too much revenue. But that's not his real reason. Estate taxes only generate about 1.4 percent of all federal revenue. Granted, that's not chump change but Clinton opposes the bill more for ideological reasons.

Al Hunt, in his Wall Street Journal column, reveals why he and other liberals oppose the bill. Hunt argues that "death taxes" originated as a means of reducing wealth inequality. "The tax has always been aimed at the accumulation of wealth by sons and daughters of the elite, never at middle or working class Americans." What an incredible admission! And it's true. My estate tax professor in law school agreed. "The estate tax," he said, "was not enacted to produce revenue, but to redistribute income."

George Bush has been quite vocal in advocating the elimination of estate taxes. Al Gore, on the other hand, thinks Bill Clinton is among the greatest presidents in history.

Gore's new education plan should also make freedom-lovers very nervous. The man who would be king recently declared, "I will ensure that there is a fully qualified, well-trained teacher in every single classroom, everywhere in this nation, by the end of the next four years." Notice he did not qualify his statement with such caveats as "to the extent we can afford it." Nor did he explain why this ambitious measure would not constitute "a risky education scheme." And he most certainly didn't feel the need to justify the federal government's expansive role under his plan.

Even the Washington Post acknowledges that Gore's plan "would plunge the federal government into areas of education where it has not gone before," including the recruiting, pay and licensing of teachers. This is scary stuff, folks.

Bush, by contrast, opposes a federal role in raising teacher salaries or setting professional standards for them. Bush has warned, "not to expect the federal government to be paying teachers more money. First of all, it's budgetarily impossible. Secondly, it flies in the face of the philosophy that I believe in."

Understand something, folks. There have always been people in this country that love government more than freedom. They believe that the government should equalize economic outcomes rather than provide a climate for equality of opportunity.

Even if by some stretch of logic you think it's appropriate in a free society for the federal government to determine how much money you can accumulate for your heirs, do you really want Big Brother dictating how your child is educated?

It's your call.

JWR contributor David Limbaugh is an attorney practicing in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, and a political analyst and commentator. Send your comments to him by clicking here.



06/12/00: Say goodbye to medical privacy
06/07/00: Elian: Whose hands were tied?
06/05/00: Who, which, what is the real Al Gore?
06/01/00: Legacy-building idea for Clinton
05/30/00: Clinton: Above the law or not?
05/24/00: Not so fast, Hillary
05/22/00: Gore's risky, fear-mongering schemes
05/17/00: Can Bush risk pro-choice running mate?
05/15/00: Right to privacy, Clinton-style
05/10/00: Patrick Kennedy and his suit-happy fiddlers
05/08/00: Don't shoot Eddie Eagle
05/03/00: Congress caves to Clinton, again?
05/01/00: The resurrection of outrage
04/28/00: A picture of Bill Clinton's America
04/19/00: President Clinton: Teaching children responsibility
04/17/00: Elian, Marx and parental rights
04/12/00: Elian, freedom deserve a hearing
04/10/00:The fraying of America
04/05/00: Noonan: End Clintonism now
04/03/00: Bush: On going for the gold
03/29/00: Phantasma-Gore-ia
03/27/00: Treaties, triggers, tobacco and tyrants
03/22/00: Media to Bush: Go left, young man
03/20/00: Stop the insanity
03/15/00: OK Al Gore: Let's go negative
03/13/00: Deifying of the center
03/08/00: The media, the establishment and the people
03/01/00: McCain's coalition-busting daggers in GOP's heart
02/28/00: Bush's silver lining in McMichigan
02/24/00: A conservative firewall, after all
02/22/00: Bush or four more of Clinton-Gore?
02/16/00: Substance trumps process
02/14/00: The campaign finance reform mirage
02/09/00: President McCain: End of the GOP as we know it?
02/07/00: From New Hampshire to South Carolina
02/02/00: SDI must fly
01/31/00: Veep gores Bradley
01/26/00: The issues gap
01/24/00: GOP: Exit, stage left
01/20/00: Nationalizing congressional elections
01/18/00: Do voters really prefer straight talk?
01/12/00: Media's McCain efforts may backfire
01/10/00: Conservative racism myth
01/05/00: Just one more year of Clintonian politics
01/03/00: McMedia?
12/27/99: Al Gore: Bullish on government
12/22/99: Bradley's full-court press
12/20/99: Bush: Rendering unto Caesar
12/15/99: Beltway media bias
12/13/99: White House ambulance chasing
12/08/99: Clinton's labor pains
12/06/99:The lust for power
12/01/99: In defense of liberty
11/29/99: Are Republicans obsolete?
11/24/99: Say you're sorry, Mr. President
11/22/99: Architects of victory
11/17/99: Trump's tax on freedom
11/15/99: GOP caves again
11/10/99: Triangulation and 'The Third Way'
11/08/99: Sticks and stones
11/03/99: Keyes vs. media lapdogs
11/01/99: Signs of the times
10/27/99: The false charge of isolationism
10/25/99: A matter of freedom
10/20/99: Clinton's mini-meltdown
10/18/99: Senate GOP shows statesmanship
10/13/99: Senate must reject nuclear treaty
10/11/99: Bush bites feeding hand
10/06/99: Jesse accidentally opens door for Pat
10/04/99: Clinton and his media enablers
09/29/99: Reagan: Big-tent conservatism
09/27/99: The Clinton/Gore taint?
09/22/99: Have gun (tragedy), will travel
09/20/99: Hillary's blunders and bloopers
09/15/99: GOP must remain conservative
09/13/99:Time for Bush to take charge, please
09/10/99: Bush's education plan: Dubya confounds again
09/07/99: Pat, savior or spoiler?
09/02/99: Character doesn't matter?
08/30/99: Should we judge?
08/25/99: Dubyah's drug question: Not a hill to die on
08/23/99: Should Dubyah start buying soap ... for all that mud?
08/16/99: 'W' stands for 'winner'
08/11/99: The truth about tax cuts
08/09/99: Hillary: Threading the needle
08/04/99: What would you do?
08/02/99: No appeasement for China
07/30/99: Hate Crimes Bill: Cynical Symbolism
07/26/99: Itís the 'moderates', stupid
07/21/99: JFK Jr. and Diana: the pain of privilege
07/19/99: Smith, Bush and the GOP
07/14/99: GOP must be a party of ideas
07/12/99: Gore's gender gap
07/08/99: Clintonís faustian bargain: our justice
07/06/99: The key to Bush's $36 million
06/30/99: Gore: a soda in every fountain
06/28/99: 'Sacred wall' or religious barrier?
06/23/99: GOP must lead in foreign policy
06/21/99: Crumbs of compassion
06/16/99: Compassionate conservatism: face-lift or body transplant?
06/10/99: Victory in Kosovo? Now What?