During President Reagan's first term, a drastic reduction in personal income tax rates was adopted. The idea was "trickle down" -- the rich would have more disposable income, then would spend more, hire more people, etc. There would be more taxpayers and, even at the reduced rates, those who had been paying income taxes would pay more on their greatly increased incomes.
It worked in part. The well-off did have more left after taxes. There was an increase in employment.
But the "benefits" were based largely on federal borrowing; national debt doubled from $1 trillion to $2 trillion in a short time.
The need to eliminate unnecessary government spending is imperative. But that alone (i.e. the reductions on which Congress and the president will agree) won't get Uncle Sam out of the red.
Federal taxes must be raised, e.g. on luxury items such as liquor and tobacco. And the "noble experiment" of reducing the income tax must be reversed, with a higher and fairer schedule that avoids loopholes and allows no under-taxed millionaires.
H. DALE BOSSERT, PE