http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=email_us&refer=columnist_shlaes&sid=ae_qkIMkzC88 President George W. Bush argued that general tax cuts -- as opposed to targeted ones -- would be good for the economy. He liked marginal rate cuts to the income tax, and he sought cuts for lower earners. He also fought for cuts in the capital-gains tax rate and taxes on dividends. Clinton could have gone along. She didn't. Mechanically, she questioned the premise of the Bush tax cuts: ``Will we meet the challenges of our time or will we squander this moment on a budget that puts politics first and people last?'' As E.J. McMahon, an economist at the Manhattan Institute, points out, the tax cuts did turn out to put ``people first.'' Lower earning households saw great savings: a single parent of two children under age 17 saw an effective 84 percent cut in tax liability. In 2005, McMahon estimates, New Yorkers got to keep $14.6 billion in earnings that they would have had to pay in taxes without the changes in the federal law. What's more, the Bush tax cuts were followed by both market and economic comebacks, just as Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin's capital-gains rate cut was followed by the boom of the late 1990s. Federal tax rate cuts did a lot to offset state and local tax increases. Using something called the State Tax Analysis Modeling Program, a software program that tries out different tax scenarios, McMahon estimates that without the federal cuts New York City would have lost jobs. Instead employment grew. McMahon figures that for the six-year period of Clinton's first term New Yorkers will have kept $60 billion that they would have otherwise paid in taxes. Lots of people in New York don't get a Wall Street bonus. This tax cut was their bonus. Deprive them of it, and you limit the bonuses to Wall Street. You favor the rich in exactly the way that Clinton opposes. Maybe you wealthy trust fund or Hollywood elite liberals (Kennedy, Kerry, Streisand, Spielberg...) DO get Wall Street style bonuses but us working class folks need tax cuts to keep OUR money for OUR families and to stimulate the economy and provide more jobs.