The new Republican governor of Virginia is cutting taxes by $2 billion over the next few years. The new Republican governor of New Jersey is cutting income taxes by 30 percent. The Republican governors of Massachusetts, Michigan and Wisconsin have made deep tax cuts. One even eliminated the dreaded property tax. The new Republican Congress is promising deep cuts. Even President Clinton is proposing large tax cuts.

And here in Utah, facing a recurring problem of monumental revenue surpluses in the hundreds of millions, our Republican governor offers us a $30 million tax cut. Yoicks!In 1988 Mike Leavitt traveled all over the state speaking in support of the largest tax hike in the history of Utah. His loyal work for the Republican leadership, which orchestrated this increase, opened doors on his way to the governor's mansion.

Since passage of that historic tax bill, the state has had a constant series of large revenue surpluses. Our state budget has grown from $2.7 billion to $4.9 billion; our state bureaucracy, according to one legislator, is the fastest growing in the country, and the state Republican leadership is spending money like a drunken sailor.

Last year, Leavitt had to be dragged kicking and screaming to a $30 million tax cut, and this year it is the same thing. Even the Democrats have suggested a cut twice that size.

I guess we ought to be mighty grateful that the rest of the country isn't being run by tax-loving Utah Republicans.

Greg W. Beesley

Salt Lake City