March 11, 2001 11:00 pm

Bush should think about cutting spending

The talking heads on TV, and people on Main Street, have spent a lot of voice power of late on President Bushs income tax cut proposal. Many economists say a cut is needed to stimulate the economy, although Democrats have criticized the Bush plan as a giveaway to the rich, with a rich family getting enough back to buy a Lexus and an average family getting enough back to buy a muffler.

We may not agree with all aspects of the tax cut plan, although we do think some kind of tax cut more targeted to benefit lower income wage earners is appropriate. The big question, though, is this: Can Bush also cut spending? Two previous Republican revolutions fell short on cutting spending, the ones led by Reagan and Gingrich, which came up against, and were defeated by, the voracious appetite in Congress for spending. The U.S. went from the tax and spend of the Democrats to the borrow and spend of the Republicans.

Projected surpluses in the federal budget would tell us money could be returned to the taxpayer. But many of the projections are based on scenarios painted by economists wearing rose-colored glasses. A better plan might be to be cautious with tax cuts, make them smaller, and work on reducing the national debt.

A key to whether Bush is successful as president will be not whether he can cut taxes but whether he can cut spending.

Spring cleaning

Now that warm weather has chased away the snow, its time to start thinking about spring cleaning. Look around the neighborhood. Clean up not only your own area but a little bit more. While the weather still needs to warm up to think much about painting, you might want to take an inventory now. See what needs painting or patching. See what you can afford.

Northeast Oregon is lucky in that it cleans up well. All regions benefit from a spring cleaning. But our region, with the blessings of geography, really shines.

Sure, no one is going to come around and give citations if a few cigarette butts are on the ground, or candy wrappers, or dog droppings. But would we rather live in a junky area, or a place where we can hold our heads high? How difficult is it to do our part to make our communities better places to live? Would we rather just talk about it? Or do our actions back up our words?

When people visit Northeast Oregon, they should be able to drive through and see that we take pride in our neighborhoods. Lets put the shine on with a

thorough spring cleaning.