Monday, January 13, 2003

Hey, Right-Wingers -- What's In Your Wallet?

Ooh, the 'wingers didn't like this one. But it's a really easy response to their outraged emails--do you want a tax cut that benefits you more than me, or me more than you? Why? Here's the response I'm now clipping-and-pasting into the emails:

I support tax cuts that help those at the bottom and the middle, not the top; those at the top are doing just fine and don't need the help like you must. If you've reported your financial situation accurately, the congressional Democratic plan puts more money in your pocket than Bush's. So which side do you support?

Net jobs created during Clinton administration (1993-2000): 22 million.
Net jobs created during Bush I (1989-1992) and Bush II (2001-2003) administrations: zero.

Oh, and did you see this from today's LA Times?:

Old question: What did you do in the war, Daddy?
New answer: I pocketed a large tax cut, honey.
And then I passed the bill for the war onto you.

Maybe that's the way to fight this plan. Point out just how it happens to be oh-so-convenient for the people supporting it.

The Bush Economic Stimulus

East Valley Tribune, Jan. 12, 2003

George W. Bush’s “stimulus” plan is a colossally stupid idea. It’s also a screaming deal for Sam Coppersmith. Perhaps that second fact will help convince you of the first.

I make out like a bandit under the Bush’s $674 billion proposal. I get increased child tax credits, something unavailable to those without minor children. As both my wife and I work, speeding up the so-called “marriage penalty” adjustment means another sizeable break, inapplicable to singles who make exactly what we do. And while modesty demands I not disclose the precise percentile, with our adjusted gross income toward the top of the pyramid, we’ll pocket a nice chunk from acceleration of the upper-income tax cuts.

But those are just the appetizers in this particular financial banquet. Check out the vast menu of more obscure entrees.

We might make enough that we even get a piece of the proposed adjustments to the alternative minimum tax. Then consider the “small business purchases” incentives, tax credits we could use to get a plasma screen for the conference room. Cool!

But the Big Enchilada, where the real money is, is the exemption of dividend income from taxation. When my parents died, I inherited some dividend-paying stocks, and I’ve done my best to save and invest, too. Now, lots of people own stocks, but most own them in pension plans, where any dividends are tax-free already.

The Bush plan thus doesn’t help the majority one bit; a senior administration official confirmed that dividends accumulated in a 401(k) would indeed be taxed as ordinary income when withdrawn. Too bad for you. But for me, Fat City.

Owning stocks outright puts me in yet another top-percentage minority, but the majority of the Bush plan is targeted precisely at guys like me with personal dividend income. The wealthiest five percent of taxpayers will corral about two-thirds of this money, over half of the entire deal. My dividend income becomes tax-free, “a gift that keeps on giving” from George W. Bush.

The Bush “stimulus” plan couldn’t be better designed to assist Sam Coppersmith unless it provided subsidies for cigars and bicycling accessories. Of the $674 billion in the plan, 92 percent goes to the stuff I’ve described that benefits me.

Oh, the President will spend about half of his time talking about moving low-income taxpayers to the 10 percent bracket and the $3,000 accounts for unemployed workers, but those two items comprise less than 8 percent of the deal. Apparently, having to “tip” our economic lessers 8 percent to grab 92 percent of the goodies is what George W. considers the “decent” thing to do.

Under Bush’s plan, I’ll pay a lot less in taxes. Here’s the kicker: Bush calls it a “stimulus” plan, but the Coppersmiths probably won’t spend that money. Instead, we’ll try to save it.

Meanwhile, plenty of folks are worried about their jobs and mortgages, wondering when business investment and consumer demand will increase. They even believe Bush when he says his plan will get the economy moving again.

I have but one word for those suckers who swallow Bush’s hokum: Ha!

Bush’s plan is a winner for me personally, but a huge loser for the country, so I oppose it. You should, too.

To a conservative, a “sacrifice” is supporting policies that oh-so-conveniently happen to benefit you (or your patrons) personally. I’m a liberal, so I’m opposing something that would benefit me greatly -- merely because it’s bad for the country.

But if you’re gullible enough to give me that much money in tax cuts, you bet I’m taking it. I’ll pay my fair share like everybody else, but I’ll be darned if I’ll pay your share, too.

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