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   Idiotic Proposed Tax Cuts Show Who's Really Getting Welfare

Editorial

Idiotic Proposed Tax Cuts Show Who’s Really Getting Welfare

The “Growth Package” that George W. Bush has put before Congress is stunning in its flagrant favoring of the wealthy. At a time of national recession, if not depression, we have a “leader” who is dreadfully out of touch with what is happening to the less-than-wealthy people in this country.

Our states are facing massive shortfalls in meeting increasingly desperate social welfare needs; they need more help from the federal government, not less, but they’re much less likely to get it when the Bush administration, and unfortunately probably Congress, are intent on “freeing up” money for the rich so they can spend it to “stimulate the economy.”

Hell’s bells! Rich people don’t spend money willy-nilly. They invest it, or put it in offshore trusts, or just park it in banks. If Bush really wanted to stimulate the economy, he’d cut taxes and increase the Earned Income Tax Credit. Then he could be sure every last cent got recycled into the economy immediately.

Making dividend income tax-free is quite a boon—if you own stocks that pay dividends. Hey—dividends are income you get without having to get your hands dirty. Why should you get it tax-free? It’s like “found money.” Maybe if this tax-free status were limited to, say, the first $1,000 of dividend income there would be some semblance of balance and thoughtfulness to the proposal. But all dividend income? Why not just make EARNED income not subject to taxes, and tax all other income? Wouldn’t that be the most fair way to do things?

Alas, “fair” is not a word in George W. Bush’s vocabulary. Nor is “prudence.” His “tax cuts” are chewing away at future revenues, 10 years down the road.

And then there's the "acceleration of the reduction in marriage penalty." Now, there's a red herring. There is no "marriage penalty" except in relatively rare cases where both spouses earn about the same substantial gross income. Using the "marriage penalty calculator," readers can quickly assess the tax impact of two spouses' TAXABLE--not "gross" or "adjusted gross"--incomes. Try assigning a $100,000 taxable income to one spouse, and zero income to the other; you'll see a nice fat 'tax bonus.of $3258 for the couple. But if both spouses have taxable incomes of $50,000 apiece, they get a 'tax penalty'of $1155. This and other oddities show the latest rendition of the tax code has some really sweet deals for 'traditional' couples where one spouse doesn't work or has a 'fun" job while disfavoring couples who have substantial similar gross incomes--say, $80,000 gross apiece. (Curious-Somehow the folks who flog this issue never mention that there's such a thing as a Marriage Tax Bonus--received by more couples than "penalties.)"

All this aside, any savvy wealthy person knows how to legally avoid paying taxes through various accounting maneuvers. The end result, as always, will be that the weight of the government will be carried on the backs of many, many “little people.”

Some would wail that a bigger chunk of tax money comes from the wealthy few than from the multitudes, we would remind them that EVERY AMERICAN PAYS THE SAME TAX RATE at each income level. That 10% rate for the poor is likewise a kissoff for the wealthy, as their first increment of income will also be taxed at that low rate. The higher rates kick in only at the higher levels of taxable income. Everybody is treated the same each step of the way.

Tax cuts? When we’re spending wildly to prepare for an obscene pre-emptive war? When our nation’s needs are growing exponentially in the face of massive layoffs, decaying infrastructure, failing schools, and so on?

Somebody please pinch us awake. We must be having a nightmare.


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This story was published on January 8, 2003.
  
JANUARY 2003
LOCAL NEWS
·NEWS BRIEFS
·CALENDARS:
· Building Trades Offer Training for Ex-Offenders
· Organized Labor Seeks to Play Role in City’s Workforce Development
· Free Concert on Jan. 19 Features Daniel Olson, Baritone
· Domino Sugar Workers Strike to Protest New Management’s Changes
· Low-Income Baltimore Families May Not Receive Full Benefit of their Earned Income Tax Credits
· Study Reveals a “Revolving Door” Scenario for Half of Baltimore’s Homeless
· Nine States Mount Legal Challenge to US Decision to Relax Air Quality Standards
· Clarification from Baltimore Development Corporation (BDC)
· Belvedere Square, Waverly Projects Get Funding Nod from BDC
· Top 10 Sports Stories of 2002
LETTERS
·Balt. Metro Letters
· National Letters
· International Letters
·OPEN LETTERS:
 ·  “All Things Considered”? Not This Time
 ·  Failure To Fire Journalists Who Lie Shows Rotting from the Top
 ·  Trying to believe
 ·   Open Letter to MSNBC
 ·  Open Letter to Rev. Pat Robertson from the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada
 ·  An Open Letter to Fellow Media-Watchers
 ·  (01/16) Open Letter: An Appeal to Bill Gates, Ted Turner, or Some Other Billionaire
ART & ENTERTAINMENT
·War Veteran’s New Book is a Primer on the Bureaucracy of Warfare
·Poetry in a Time of War
NEWS MEDIA CRITIQUE
·A Lesson In U.S. Propaganda
· The Case of the Missing Information about Iraq’s Weapons
· The Sun Shows No Nose for News
·Cowards at the Sun
·How Did those WTC Buildings Collapse?
·HBO Recycles Gulf War Hoax
·Enter Kissinger, the Accidental Appointment
SPEAKING OUT
·EDITORIALS:
 ·  Choose Peace and Prosperity, Not War
 ·  Idiotic Proposed Tax Cuts Show Who’s Really Getting Welfare
·(01/19) Massive Anti-War Rally Rocks Nation's Capital
·In Addition to Civil Rights, We Should be Concerned about Corporate Rights and Health Care Rights and Pension Rights
·Consider the Orwellian “Arrogance is Humility”
· (1/17) Will the White House Please Slow Down and Listen to Reason about Iraq before It's Too Late?
·The Consequences of an Iraqi Misadventure
·Gun Control Misses the Target, we should reprogram all our citizens to be like the Swiss!
·Without Protest, Americans Are Giving Up Freedom
·Environment: The Budgie and the Eucalyptus, Once Upon a Time in Australia
·To Al Qaeda: Fries with That?
·Soapbox: Refresh Your Memory of the UN Charter
·John Rawls—An Appreciation
NATION & WORLD
· ACLU steps up to fight for Americans’ freedoms
· Changes to US Citizens’ Legal Rights
· Bush Administration Set To Unveil New Math, Science Education Plan
· Bush Administration Continues to Abandon Environmental Safeguards in Our National Forests
· Free Trade is Killing our Industry
· Bush Administration’s World View Just Doesn’t Add Up
· Missile Defense Deployment: Still Dangerous, Costly, and Irrelevant to Present Threats
· Meeting Iraqi Victims—and Trying to Prevent More Victims
· No Endgame in Afghanistan
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