Ben Stein, a comedian and a Bush-loving Republican, writes a weekly business column in the NY Times. Would somebody please clip this one and send it to Sens. Mark Pryor and Blanche Lincoln?

Stein, unlike some Republicans, is concerned about the federal deficit, mounting debt, trade deficits and the deteriorating quality of federal bonds. Context: talk of another tax cut for the rich through elimination or drastic reduction of the estate tax. Says Stein, in a letter to the new Treasury secretary:

May I respectfully suggest that in this environment, ending the estate tax is not a major sensible priority? May I suggest that having the lowest taxes in 65 years on high-income taxpayers is not really as prudent as it might be if we were not running stupendous deficits, with far worse in the future?

I know you are a Republican, and so am I. Now and then, scornful fellow Republicans ask me what kind of Republican I am, since I’m for higher taxes on the rich. I tell them that I am an Eisenhower Republican, the kind who wants to leave a healthier America to posterity. That includes an economy not headed for the status of a banana republic’s economy.