Wednesday, August 27, 2003
::: Hop in Granny's Short Haul Time Machine :::
::: TruthOut, June 6, 2003, Paul Krugman :::
:::::: Duped and Beyond :::::
Just curious if anyone knows if this ridiculous deduction still stands ... you remember ... the bait and switch Child Tax Credit that was not supposed to be ... the one Tom Delay considered unimportant. The same one which included this absurd break for business owners ... believe me it is a hummer!
Most media attention has focused on the child tax credit that wasn't. As in 2001, the administration softened the profile of a tax cut mainly aimed at the wealthy by including a credit for families with children. But at the last minute, a change in wording deprived 12 million children of some or all of that tax credit. "There are a lot of things that are more important than that," declared Tom DeLay, the House majority leader. (Maybe he was thinking of the Hummer deduction," which stayed in the bill: business owners may now deduct up to $100,000 for the cost of a vehicle, as long as it weighs at least 6,000 pounds.)
Of course, the big betrayal was George W. Bush's decision to push this tax cut in the first place. There is no longer any doubt that the man who ran as a moderate in the 2000 election is actually a radical who wants to undo much of the Great Society and the New Deal.
Look at it this way: as the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities points out, this latest tax cut reduces federal revenue as a share of G.D.P. to its lowest level since 1959. That is, federal taxes are now back to what they were in an era when Medicare and Medicaid didn't exist, and Social Security was still a minor expense. How can we maintain these programs, which have become essential to scores of millions of Americans, at today's tax rates? We can't.
Grover Norquist, the right-wing ideologue who has become one of the most powerful men in Washington, once declared: "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." Mr. Bush has made a pretty good start on that plan.