I believe that the early round of tax cuts in 2001 most likely helped to lift the economy out of recession, at least in the short term. To maintain these deep cuts in the wake of September 11th, the Afghan war, and the Iraq war is absurd and self-destructive.
What I fail to understand is why the Democratic Party has abdicated its responsibility to the challenge the Republicans on this issue. Since the 1980s, the Republicans have very cleverly managed to disassociate "taxes" from "public services." Instead, they have created the myth in the minds of many that taxes represent only "government oppression."
This is a flat-out distortion of the truth. If I ran the Democratic Party (and this means YOU, Governor Dean), I would be on the airwaves and the internet every single day working to change this distorted picture. I would explain that if Americans want better schools, better roads, better healthcare and hospitals, better childcare, better public transportation, more good teachers, more policemen and women, more firemen and women, a more effective military, and better border and Homeland security, then we have to pay for it. I would argue that Americans would get back so much more in improved services than they actual pay in taxes.
It seems to me that because both parties have accepted the myth of taxation, the greatest industrial power in the history of the world does not have national healthcare. That is a crime against humanity.
I suppose that at this point the Democrats are too cowed, too scared, too dispirited, too chaotic to accomplish much. The party has been disoriented since being swept from the control of Congress in 1994. Democrats need to either get their act together and start playing the role of a true "Liberal" party, or disband and let some other party take its place that has the guts to fight back.