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Monday, December 12, 2005

More wartime tax cuts from Bush

If Tim Eyman is the poster boy for deadbeat dads, George Bush surely must be their king. The latest arrogance of another tax cut for the rich in a time of war while cutting social programs is nothing less than George playing poker with the mortgage payment, the kids college fund, and the grocery money.

See the breakout of the new tax cuts, at EPI's snapshot. More than $16 billion in new business tax cuts, $20 billion in capital gains tax cuts, and over $30 billion in tax cuts on dividends.

It doesn't bother him. I wonder where he'll be when the bills come due? For Medicare, for education, and for our social security. The social safety net may still be there, but it's now only a few inches off the ground. If you hit it, it's not going to save you any broken bones.

Up until George, I objected when people dismissed our social security system. It was phenomenally successful in its time. It raised millions of seniors from poverty and humiliation almost immediately when it was enacted. Later revisions lifted even more. Its financing is impeccable in terms of internal sufficiency. But social security is now the house, and the mortgage payment is going to the rich in the form of tax breaks.

I can think of two possibilities: (1) Bush doesn't know what he's doing and imagines like the Queen of Hearts that reality is determined by decree, or (2) He knows exactly what he is doing, and he is purposely dismantling the social programs that make us a civilized society. Maybe it's a combination, Bush is #1 and the people who maintain him in power are #2.

But there is a third. The enabler. The compliant, supine press, who faithfully report his lies as matters of opinion and the facts as contrary opinions. To the press he is not the deadbeat dad, but a man of strong principles, and if not principles, at least appetites. They are his poker buddies, his "friends on the force."

In the end, all will suffer. Even the deadbeat dad. If things aren't righted, it will be a tragedy. If things are righted, it will leave a scar. Better we should have done the right thing to begin with.

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