Thank you and goodbye,
Lady Bird Johnson
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for Friday the 13th

GOP says tax cuts are helping shrink federal deficit

OK, I pick on Dubya and his buddies. A lot.

And I'm not going to stop, in large part because I have major reservations about many of this Administration's tax policies.

But, as a journalist, I feel duty bound to report the latest deficit reduction news.

The U.S. budget deficit will narrow to $205 billion this year, the lowest since 2002, according to the White House. The reason, Administration officials say, is rising tax revenue.

Pile_of_money_3 The prez and his fellow Republicans credit some $2 trillion in tax reductions over the last 6½ years with fueling economic growth that has produced the government revenue.

This year, individual income taxes through May came to almost $766 billion, up 11 percent; corporate tax receipts through that period were up 15 percent, to almost $211 billion.

These figures appear to be an answer, at least from the White House's point of view, to recently raised questions about the ability of tax cuts to drive the U.S. economy a bit further down the road.

But the increased tax collections also are likely to prompt more discussions on how to use the funds in the short-term and whether such collections can be sustained over the longer haul.

That longer haul issue is especially important, as Baby Boomers age every day, prompting projections that spending on Social Security and Medicare will balloon in coming years.

You can read more on the latest deficit numbers and get perspectives from both sides of the political aisle in these stories from Bloomberg, the Washington Post and the New York Times.



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